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Heb B Blood Test - Adoption
Sep 25, 2005

I was interested in an earlier post regarding adoption from China. I am adopting a 2-year-old boy with the following blood tests from Dec. 2004:

HBsAg negative HBsAb positive HBeAg negative HBeAb positive HBcAb positive

In the usual medical narratives that come along with these referrals, there is no mention of Hepatitis B. I have received updates since Dec. 2004 and there is no mention of serious illness or symptoms of Hep B. A Chinese pediatrician in my hometown reviewed the above results and flagged the readings.

Is there reason for concern? If so, what questions do I need to ask?

Thanks very much.

Response from Dr. McGovern

The laboratories actually don't make sense since they don't fit together nicely. I suspect your little boy does not have chronic hepatitis B (since the surface antigen is negative). However, the core, surface antibody, and e antibody are all positive suggesting the possibility that he was exposed to infection earlier. However, usually when the core and surface antibodies are positive, the e antibody is negative.

I would repeat the entire panel and add a hepatitis B DNA for more information. I suspect it will be reassuring news that he does not have chronic hepatitis B.

Best of luck, Dr. McGovern



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