Blood Tests for Liver Donation
Having blood tests for a liver donation evaluation can help ensure that you are healthy and do not have an existing disease, such as HIV or hepatitis. By checking for specific antibodies in your blood, a healthcare professional can begin to determine if you have certain diseases. If blood tests for a liver donation come up positive for these antibodies, more testing may be necessary.
Blood Tests for Liver Donation: A Summary
As part of the liver donation evaluation process, your blood will be tested a few different times. This involves using a needle to take a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm.
The first blood test will be used to see if your blood type is a good match for the person receiving part of your liver. Other blood tests are done to see if you have any diseases that can be spread through contact with your blood or liver, such as:
These blood tests check to see if your blood has certain cells, called "antibodies," in it. Antibodies are part of your body's natural defense system. Whenever you are infected with a disease, your body creates a special group of antibodies that only attack that specific disease. By checking for these specific antibodies, your healthcare providers can tell if you have the disease.
If the blood test shows that you do have these antibodies, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a problem. More testing will be necessary. Depending on where you live, if you have any of these diseases, your transplant team may have to report it to your state Board of Health. This is done in order for the board to tell how many people have the disease and whether or not it is becoming more common in the community.