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Can anyone explain these test results for Hepatitis B?
Mar 8, 2013

My wife recently (couple of weeks ago) delivered our son. During her first trimester her Hbs Ag test was negetive.

Moments after she delivered our son, we got her cord blood and tissue collected and stored with a private organization along with my wife's blood sample. A couple of days ago, I got a letter from the cord blood company that my wife's Hepatitis Core Total Antibody came up reactive.

Needless to say, we panicked and called the child's pediatrician to see if it effects the child. The Pediatrician suggested we do a more comprehensive test on my wife and got these results:

Hb Surface Antibody- Non-Reactive Hb Core AB Total - Reactive Hb Core Ab IgM - Non-Reactive Hb Surface Antigen - Non-Reactive

My wife's Ob-Gyn office mentioned that these results indicated that my wife likely had an infection a long time ago but it got resolved and there is no current danger to her.

My son's pediatrician said he does not know what it means and that he will consult other doctors and get back to me.

I am freaking out a little. Any info on what this means would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Taylor

I am sorry that you have gone through this worry.

Based on the information you've provided, I think that your wife's Ob-Gyn office team is correct -- that these results indicate that your wife likely had an infection in the past but it resolved on its own and there is no current danger to her. It does not sound as though there is any danger for your son.

I suggest having your child vaccinated against hep B now. All newborns should start the hep B vaccine series right after birth. Hep B is highly contagious and can be damaging, and the vaccine is effective and safe.

There is controversy about vaccinating people with isolated core AB reactivity with the other hep B tests being negative. The core means, basically, prior exposure. Since the hep B vaccine is so old, tried, and true (meaning safe and effective), I sugggest that your wife be vaccinated at her convenience.

The only other rare thing with having the isolated core AB reactivity, and I hope this never happens to your wife, is that people who ever start chemotherapy or take medications that can suppress the immune system should have a test for the hep B virus itself before starting, and may need preventive medication.

Congratulations on the arrival of your son.



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