|Question about different types of HBVDNA testing
Jun 19, 2004
This may be a good question. One that I've been trying to figure out. When a doctor tests your HBVDNA, it seems that there are many different types of tests. Some say <30,000 copies/ML means you are Non-Detectable while others say <100 copies/UL are Non-Detectable.
So, do we have better tests out now that are more sensitive? If so, would someone with 122 copies/UL need treatment since it did show up in a test thats lower limit is 160 copies/ML?
After thinking about it I came to a conclusion that 193 copies/ML is actually very good. I've had other types of test at the same time through a drug company where it was Non-Detectable.
What do you think?
Response from Dr. McGovern
Testing for Hepatitis B virus levels has become very complicated because there are many different tests with different abilities to detect virus. Some are very sensitive and can detect extremely low levels of virus; others are less sensitive. However, the meaning of a very low viral load, like yours, is uncertain.
To also complicate the issue, hepatitis B virus levels can fluctuate over time in the same person.
Based on our current knowledge, tests with less sensitivity are ample enough to detect hepatitis B virus since the implications of finding very low levels of virus are uncertain. On a less sensitive assay, your hepatitis B would probably be undetectable again - as you were in the past.
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