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Hep B -- adoption question
Sep 3, 2006

I am evaluating petitioning to adopt a "waiting child" from asia who has Hep B..(approx 10 months old now) The following are what the medical tests show... but it doesn't indicate "inactive carrier" or "chronic" or anything. I've tried figuring it out, but could use some help:

HBsAG - Positive HBsAb - neg HBeAg - neg HbeAb - pos HbcAb - pos

Thank You!

Response from Dr. McGovern

How exciting a prospect for you!

As for the hepatitis B profile:

The baby has chronic infection.

Whether it is "inactive" or not is not yet clear. The fact that the E antigen is negative and the E antibody is positive is very suggestive of E antigen seroconversion, which is usually asssociated with remission of disease.

However, the best test to differentiate seroconversion with another issue, which is the pre-core mutant, is to get a HBV DNA test - a test of viral load.

There are some patients who undergo seroconversion but then form a mutant virus that still makes plenty of virus in the bloodstream and liver, but it is not picked up as E antigen anymore. That is why I am emphasizing the HBV DNA test.

With all that said, I think the chance is more likely that the baby had seroconversion, which is good news, and suggests inactive chronic disease. You will want to follow this up with more testing when you get your baby.

Best of luck to you and your family.



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