Jul 30, 2005
what is the meaning of "inactive" in HEpa B status. Does it mean that symptoms are not yet shown? Is it curable? how many weeks? months?
Response from Dr. McGovern
"Inactive hepatitis B" suggests that you have evidence of chronicity (Hepatitis B surface antigen positive) but have evidence of seroconversion (hepatitis E antigen negative and anti-HBe postiive) and no detectable virus or low virus (<10(5) copies/ml) with normal ALT levels (liver function tests) and minimal or no inflammation on liver biopsy.
With all that said, it is important to point out that hepatitis B infection can fluctuate so you cannot label someone as inactive until you have serial tests to demonstrate that the activity is truly quiescent. Also even after a period of time of inactivity, 20 percent of inactive carriers can "reactivate". Therefore it is important to have serial follow-up by your physician.
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