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Aug 2, 2011

We adopted out daughter from Korea 26 years ago. She was a baby. She was recently diagnosed with hbv. She contacted this from her birth mother because she had the vacine but it did not work because she already had hbv at birth. How dangerous is this to her liver at this point being that she has had it all of her life and we just found out. We have an appt. with the liver clinic next week but I need answers now. Can you answer please.

Response from Dr. McGovern

Because of her age, I suspect she is in the "immune tolerance" phase of HBV. This means that she has virus in her blood but her liver function tests are normal. At some point though in her 20s or 30s she will probably develop abnormal liver function tests, which is the time at which treatment may be considered.

The main issue is that she will have good monitoring at the liver clinic. She will also need an ultrasound of her liver. Depending on the results of her blood tests, a decision may be made to consider a liver biopsy...

She will do well with good medical care. There are many good medications, if she needs them.

She should also be vaccinated against hepatitis A if she is not immune.

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