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Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The infection is called acute when a person first becomes infected. The infection becomes chronic (long-term) when a person has symptoms for 6 months or longer.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


Even with treatment, hepatitis B can damage your liver. You may develop cirrhosis or portal hypertension (increased pressure in the vein that goes to your liver). If you need cancer treatment or take certain other medicines, hepatitis B may return or get worse. This includes medicines you take after an organ or bone marrow transplant or to treat HIV or autoimmune disorders. Liver disease may lead to increased pressure in your brain.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.


  • Blood tests are used to check your liver function.

  • An ultrasound is used to check liver problems caused by HBV.

  • A liver biopsy is used to test a sample of your liver for swelling, scarring, and other damage.


  • Antiviral medicines help fight the virus that causes hepatitis B and keep it from spreading in your body.

  • Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) helps your body fight the HBV infection. HBIG is also given to newborn babies who were exposed to HBV while in the womb.


  • A liver transplant is surgery to replace your liver with a healthy liver. You may need a liver transplant if you have severe liver disease or liver failure.

  • Plasma or platelet transfusions may be needed if your blood is not clotting as it should. Plasma and platelets are parts of your blood that help your blood clot. You will get the transfusion through an IV.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.