Purpose of the Acute Hepatitis Panel

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Acute Viral Hepatitis Panel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Purpose of the Acute Hepatitis Panel

Hepatitis typically causes symptoms of fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain or discomfort (upper right quadrant). Patients may also experience clay-colored stools, loss of appetite, a low-grade fever, dark urine, and joint pain. If a patient presents with one of more of these symptoms it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause. At this point, the laboratory testing plays a key role in the differential diagnosis. An Acute Hepatitis Panel (AHP) will test for the three most common causes of hepatitis in the United States; specifically, Hepatitis A (HAV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV). If these laboratory tests for viral hepatitis are negative the panel still had tremendous value in helping to rule out viral hepatitis (at which point clinicians will evaluate the patient for non-viral causes of hepatitis).