|Hope You Will Answer This Time - Need Help Understanding MY Hep B Labs
Dec 21, 2008
Hello, Dr. McGovern:
I need help understanding my lab work. I was diagnosed an inactive carrier of Hep B a couple of years ago. My current lab work from three weeks ago is as follows:
HEPATITIS B SURFACE AB, QUAL NON-REACTIVE NON-REACTIVE HEPATITIS B CORE AB, TOTAL NON-REACTIVE NON-REACTIVE HEPATITIS B E AB Low: NONREACTIVE NONREACTIVE HEPATITIS B VIRAL DNA, IU/ML Low: <100 IU/mL <100.00 HEPATITIS B VIRAL DNA, COPIES/ML Low: <160 * copies/mL <160 HEPATITIS B SURFACE AG NON-REACTIVE REACTIVE (A) HEPATITIS B E AG Low: NONREACTIVE NONREACTIVE
1) If the E antigen is negative, how is it that the surface antigen is still positive?
2) The only result that is positive is surface antigen. Does this mean I have more of a chance to clear the virus completely if all other tests are negative, including DNA?
I'm so very confused by this disease. Have never been able to get a grasp on it and could really use your help.
Thanks so much for your time.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
You are not the only one who is confused. These diagnostic tests lead to a lot of confusion even among health care providers.
However, the good news is that I suspect you may be on your way to seroconversion (eg, your HBeAb will become reactive). The loss of HBeAg often comes before the gain of HBeAntibody. The non-detectable viral load is supportive of this. You will still be called an inactive carrier and should have regular six month monitoring to be certain your disease stays inactive.
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