follow up question w/ dna test results
Nov 27, 2004
Dear Dr. McGovern, Thank you so much-I just received your answer to my last question yesterday (11/21) (I was diagnosed from prenatal blood tests-my husband is negative) You said I should get HBV DNA tests. I have since gotten the results of the DNA and am confused. I will give you all of my results again: HepBsAg +, HepBcoreAb +, HepBeAg -, HepBeAb +, Anti-HBc +, HepB core AB IGM -, ALT 51, AST 40, HepB viral DNA 125H <100(reference negative), HepB viral DNA 200H <160 (reference negative). I have had an ultrasound of my liver and it was normal.
I don't know why I got two DNA results but they are both above the negative threshold. In your response to my original question you said it would be uncommon for me to have the HepBe antigen infection with detectable virus. It looks like that is the case. What does that mean? Does it mean I will need treatment? How will that impact a future pregnancy? And if it is detectable in my bloodstream why hasn't my husband gotten it? The only guess I can make is that it is so slightly positive as to be virtually undetectable? Is that possible? I made an appt with a liver specialist but the earliest appt I could get is two weeks away and I am so confused . I have never had any symptoms. I am extrememly healthy-don't drink alcohol or smoke. Thank you so much in advance for you response to my followup question.
Response from Dr. McGovern
You ask excellent questions. However now these test results DO make sense when interpreted all together.
If you are a chronic carrier the hepatitis B surface antigen and the core antigen should both be positive. I believe last time you said the core was negative.
Your physician will want to test you over time to determine if you are in the process of clearing this infection or if you are a chronic carrier. This will be decided over about 6 months. Decisions on treatment cannot be made just yet.
If you are a chronic carrier you can still have children because vaccination is so effective for preventing transmission to babies.
Your husband should be checked for hepatitis B and if negative he should get vaccinated. Yes it is possible that the virus level is low and you may not have transmitted it to him because of that.
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