Hepatitis – How to Interpret a Viral Hepatitis Diagnosis

Joel E Lavine MD


To make a viral hepatitis diagnosis, doctors will use a series of tests. First, they will assess risk factors and look for signs of liver swelling and yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes. They will also examine liver function through blood tests. Then, they will proceed to a more detailed hepatitis diagnosis.

Testing for elevated liver enzymes

If your child has elevated liver enzyme levels, it may signify a severe and life-threatening illness. However, elevated levels are not always the only sign of liver disease, so more tests may be necessary to diagnose the disease. For example, elevated levels can sometimes signify viral infection and go away independently. In other cases, elevated levels may be due to a more severe condition, such as NAFLD or liver cancer. In those cases, treatment options vary. Therefore, discussing potential treatments with your child’s doctor, including any risks and potential side effects, is essential. You may also want to seek a referral for your child to a liver disease specialist.

A comprehensive panel of liver enzymes can be helpful in viral hepatitis diagnosis. A complete panel should include ALT, AST, and total bilirubin. Elevated levels of ALT and AST may indicate a diagnosis of hepatitis B, though they do not tell us the exact cause of infection.


The serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (SGPT) ratio has clinical significance in diagnosing viral hepatitis. The SGOT/SGPT ratio is also used to screen alcohol-induced liver damage. Patients with an SGOT/SGPT ratio of 2 or higher are likely to have asymptomatic alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Usually, the SGOT/SGPT ratio is greater than 1. Any value over 1.5 is strongly suggestive of alcoholic liver damage and highly suggestive of viral hepatitis. However, this ratio is not sensitive enough to grade the degree of damage to the liver. If a patient has recently been through an alcoholic debauch, SGOT/SGPT may be elevated.

The SGOT/SGPT ratio is helpful in the diagnosis of viral hepatitis because it reflects the progression of the disease. The ratio can remain below one for one or more weeks during recovery. The ratio is usually greater than one in cases of viral hepatitis. However, it is essential to note that the ratio is not always indicative of viral hepatitis, especially when the SGOT/SGPT ratio is abnormally low.

SGOT/SGPT ratio for hepatitis C

The SGOT/SGPT ratio is one of the most important diagnostic tools for viral hepatitis diagnosis. The ratio reflects the level of glutamic oxalacetic and pyruvic transaminases in serum. Serum levels of both transaminases are elevated in viral hepatitis. Although it can be challenging to interpret the results of serum enzyme tests, it is essential to understand their significance.

A high SGOT/SGPT ratio can signify fulminant disease or chronic viral hepatitis. This elevated ratio also indicates alcoholism, which can lead to various long-term complications. Although SGOT/SGPT ratio is not an accurate indicator of liver damage, it can help differentiate between different liver diseases.

Virus-specific chapters provide an overview.

Viral hepatitis is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by infection with a virus that affects the liver. It is the most common cause of liver cancer and transplantation in the developed world. This disease has a long history and a distinctive clinical symptom: acute jaundice. Advances in medical knowledge have made it possible to diagnose viral hepatitis and treat the underlying disease.

Viral hepatitis can occur in several different ways, depending on the specific virus and the method of transmission. Diagnosis and treatment strategies can differ from country to country, making it vital to implement global strategies to control and prevent the spread of the virus. In 2010, the World Health Assembly recognized viral hepatitis as a global public health issue and called for improving diagnosis and care for patients with this disease.

Treatment options

Once you have been diagnosed with viral hepatitis, several treatment options exist. The primary treatment is to keep your symptoms under control. This includes getting adequate food and fluids. Ensure you eat a balanced diet and snack often. If you feel nauseous, eat smaller meals and drink plenty of water. Your healthcare provider can also recommend supplements and vitamins for you.

Treatment for viral hepatitis varies depending on the severity of the disease. In severe cases, liver transplantation may be needed. In this procedure, a surgeon will replace a damaged liver with a healthy one. The liver is usually obtained from a deceased donor, but many living donors may be available.

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