hep b test results
Jun 5, 2007
we are hoping to adopt a little 4 year old girl from china. she is said to be hep b positive. her tests say all liver functins are normal. HBsAB and HBeAg are positive and all others are negative. Does this mean the virus is active or has she has built up an immunity to it? Thanks so much.
Response from Dr. McGovern
It is hard to say. We almost never see HBsAB positive with an HBeAg positive test. I am not sure these laboratories are correct.
I would request the full panel of testing (including HBsAg and HBVDNA). It is certainly possible that she could have active hepatitis B since this infection is common in Asia - this would be reflected by the presence of HBV DNA. If they don't do HBV DNA testing (this is expensive) then at least request the HBsAg test. If this is positive, then she does have chronic infection of some sort - it is not possible to categorize it further. She could have virus in her bloodstream even with normal liver function tests - this occurs often in childhood due to "immunotolerance".
If she is viremic (HBV DNA +), you will want her to see a liver specialist to discuss further evaluation and management. Many of these children do "seroconvert" by themselves without treatment. However, careful monitoring is important to determine whether treatment should be offered.
Congratulations to you and your expanding family!
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