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Do I need to retest my e antigen to Hep B?
Aug 31, 2004

Dear Dr Dieterick:

I was diagnosed with chronic hep B 8 years ago after becoming ill w/jaundice. A liver biopsy was done. Clinical diagnosis: HBV, HBsAg+, HBV DNA-. Final diagnosis: Chronic hep B by etioloy, rare HBsAg+ cells Id'd by immunoperoxidase reaction. And, later blood tests showed HBeAb+, HBeAg-, but still no BHsAB.

My questions are:

1. Do I need to redo the e antigen test?

2. DNA was detected by biopsy, is that the PCR method you'd mentioned? If not, is it as reliable? And, do I need to redo it since it was done 7 years ago?

3. I think you had said people with e antigen+, DNA- are not contagious. I've been told by my doctors that I'm am. I'm confused - please help me clarify this issue.

Thank you so much.

Confused in L.A.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It depends on the DNA test done. 8 years ago the PCR test was not available. You need to have that done again. It will likely be positive now at a low level perhaps. If the DNA is negative by PCR then you are not likely contagious, however lets find out first. Good luck! DTD



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