• If you have chronic (long lasting) hepatitis B, you should get a liver check-up every 6-12 months.
  • Liver check-ups are the only way to know if there is damage to your liver. This is because often there are no symptoms.
  • Getting check-ups often means you can start to get treated as soon as you need it. 

If you have hepatitis B, you should visit your doctor often for liver check-ups. This is important because hepatitis B can damage your liver and cause scarring, liver failure and liver cancer. And this can happen even if you feel well.

When you go to your doctor for a liver check-up, they will do some tests to check for damage to your liver. This helps to work out if you need to start or change treatment.

It is best to get a liver check-up at least once a year, or more often if your doctor advises it.

Tests used to check on the effects of hepatitis B

Viral load test (HBV DNA)

Hepatitis B viral load tests measure how much of the virus is in your blood. This is important because a high viral load means you are more likely to pass it on to someone else. It's also more likely to cause damage to your liver.

These tests help decide if you need to start or change treatment.

Liver Function Tests

Liver function tests are blood tests that measure the amount of certain proteins and enzymes in your blood. Their levels tell the doctor how your liver is doing.

Liver function tests help to decide if you need to start treatment. They also figure out how well your current treatment is working.

Ultrasound

Ultrasounds can check if there is anything wrong in your liver, like cancer. Getting ultrasounds often can mean anything strange in your liver gets found sooner and is easier to fix.

An ultrasound scan creates a real-time picture of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasounds do not hurt. Ultrasound works differently to x-ray in that it does not use radiation.

Fibroscan® (transient elastography)

FibroScan® is a tool that uses vibration to look at how much fibrosis (scarring) is on your liver. But keep in mind you can't get it everywhere in Australia.

If you get a FibroScan®, you lie down on your back with your right arm above your head. Then your doctor will place the scanner on your skin over where your liver is. You will feel a gentle pulse or tap while it scans your liver. It's checking for liver stiffness. The test takes about 10 minutes and does not hurt.

The Fibroscan® can:

  • see how much liver scarring there is
  • track if your liver health is getting better or worse
  • work out if you need to start or change treatment

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Page Updated 4 Novement 2022