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Monitoring Your Liver
Dec 19, 2004

Dear Dr. McGovern.

Is it neccessary to have your liver and Hepititis B virus monitor every nonth?. some doctors say it should be every 3 months while others say every month, which is correct?. thank you-

Response from Dr. McGovern

It actually depends on which blood test you are referring to and in what context.

If I am following a newly-diagnosed patient with hepatitis B I will want that patient to come back in 6 months for monitoring to assess whether he or she has chronic hepatitis B or not.

If I am monitoring response to treatment I may want the patient to come back in 1 to 3 months to assess tolerance and response to therapy.

If I am monitoring someone who suddenly has a significant increase in liver function tests I may ask them to come back in 1 to 2 weeks.

If I am monitoring someone off therapy with mild disease and nearly normal liver tests, I may follow liver function tests and HBV DNA and alfa feto protein every 6 months.

As you can see, it really depends on the situation and what you are monitoring. Dr. McGovern



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