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Active liver disease???
May 16, 2004

Dear Doctor,

I'm HBsAG+, HBeAG-, HBeAB+, undetectable HBV DNA by PCR, normal ALT, normal AFP, moderately fatty liver on ultrasound and normal liver function tests. My liver specialist doctor told asked me to come back for yearly checkup. My questions are:

1. Since I've been having upper back pain for about a year. I sometimes feel mild pain from the different spots on upper quadrant area and usually gone after a couple minutes or when I stretch my back. My back and chest x-ray show NO problem. My family MD told me that I have arthritis, I'm not so convinced since I'm only 34 and scare of the active HBV disease that might cause the pain on my liver area. Please give me some suggestions or commend on this.

2. Is that right when the HBV DNA becomes undetectable then the liver should become normal as well as there is no cirrhotic?

Thank you very much for your help.

Response from Dr. McGovern

Your hepatitis B panel suggests that you are a "carrier" of hepatitis B virus. However the rest of your panel is very reassuring and suggests that your disease is "inactive". As long as you have no detectable virus in your blood and continue to have normal liver function tests, you are not at risk for ongoing inflammation in the liver which can lead to scarring. However it is important from time to time to have serial hepatitis B testing to be certain that your infection stays inactive.

I doubt your back pain would be related to your hepatitis B infection and other causes should be evaluated.

Dr. McGovern

Husband hiv+/hcv +
Acute Hepatitis B

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