What is the role of lab testing in the workup of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B)?

Updated: Jun 08, 2021
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Please note that the guidelines for the current diagnostic workup and management of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection continue to evolve. Clinicians are advised to refer frequently to the most recent recommendations of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) at https://www.aasld.org/publications/practice-guidelines-0.

Laboratory evaluation of hepatitis B disease generally consists of liver enzyme tests, including levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and/or aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), as well as liver function tests (LFTs) that include total and direct serum bilirubin, albumin, and the measurement of the international normalized ratio (INR). [38] Hematologic and coagulation studies also include a platelet count and a complete blood count (CBC). Ammonia levels may be obtained, but the results often create diagnostic confusion in clinicians. [39]

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