Diseases of the liver are on the increased. They are among the top 10 causes of mortality in Malaysia. The liver can be affected in various ways. Common causes of liver diseases are viral infections, fatty liver, alcohol, autoimmune conditions and inherited conditions.
People with liver diseases are usually without complaints. However, over many years a significant proportion of people with chronic hepatitis can progress to develop scarring or hardening of the liver (liver cirrhosis), liver failure or liver cancer. As such a proper follow up with a hepatologist or a doctor experienced in managing liver diseases is important.
Hepatitis B virus is an important cause of liver diseases. It chronically infects 350 million people worldwide. The world can be divided into three areas according to the prevalence of chronic HBV infection: high (>8%), intermediate (2-8%), and low (<2%). High prevalence areas include south-east Asia and the Pacific Basin (excluding Japan, Australia, and New Zealand), sub-Saharan Africa, the Amazon Basin, parts of the Middle East, the central Asian Republics, and some countries in eastern Europe.
In Malaysia, infection with hepatitis B virus is common. If you have any of the risk factors for hepatitis B infection please undergo Hepatitis B screening. If your hepatitis B surface antigen (Hep B s ag) result comes back reactive, you may have been infected with hepatitis B virus. Your doctor will establish whether you have a new or acute infection, or a chronic infection. You may be asked to do the Hepatitis B Initial Carrier Studies or Hepatitis B Follow up Studies to evaluate your hepatitis B infection. Sometimes your doctor may advise you to perform some other tests, for example, Hepatitis B Virus DNA (HBV DNA rt PCR test).This test is very useful for your doctor to determine the activity of your hepatitis B virus infection. As part of surveillance for liver cancer, an ultrasound assessment of your liver is essential. For other liver diseases, your hepatologist will need to assess and investigate appropriately.
During your follow up with your doctor, he/she may decide to start you on medications. For patients with hepatitis B deciding on the need to start treatment, what to treat with, the duration of treatment, the benefits and the possible treatment complications need to be properly evaluated, as the treatment may be long term.
Hepatology Services is available now in SC Cheras, SC Glenmarie, SC Klang and SC Taman Megah.
For more information or to make appointment, please contact us at:
Tel : 1-800-88-7171 Email :[email protected]
Hepatitis Screening is available in all BP Outlets Nationwide.