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Help understanding Hep lab results, please....
Jan 4, 2014

Hi, I had thought to have an exposure to Hepatitis C about fifteen years ago, and never had a test done. Finally, last week, I did...all the results say non-reactive, but I'm confused about the tests themselves, because each of them say as the heading "Hepatitis Panel w/RFX, Acute." There are four of them, and under each of have something different: HAV AB (IGM) - Nonreactive HB S AG - Nonreactive HB CORE AB (IGM) - Nonreactive HCV RATIO - next to this it says .04 Ratio, and then next to that it says <1.0 HEPATITIS C AB- Nonreactive

My questions is that because the test says "acute" does this mean that it only tested for an acute infection? Because having been exposed (or possibly exposed) 15 years ago, the infection would now be chronic, correct? Can I feel confident that these tests were fully comprehensive to rule out any hepatitis, both acute and chronic, or are there other tests I need? I would really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Response from Dr. Taylor

There are many different tests and panels (groups) of tests for acute (new within a few weeks-months) and chronic viral hepatitis infection, so tests and results can be confusing.

From the tests you received, it does not appear that you have a recent hepatitis A infection. To complete this evaluation, you could get the hepatitis A total AB or IGG or just get vaccinated against hepatitis A. It does not appear that you have chronic hepatitis B, but I cannot tell if you are protected or not. Options are to get tested for the hepatitis B surface Ab else get the hepatitis B vaccine series. Hep B can be serious so this follow-up is important.

It does not sound as though you were exposed to hep C or have chronic hep C with the non-reactive antibody. However it can take months for this antibody to develop so if you could have recently been exposed to hep C then getting a hep C RNA by PCR or getting the antibody repeated in 6 months would be the next step. However this initial hep C result is promising if you do not have risk for recent exposure.

Remember any way/ways that we can be exposed to hep C also expose us to HIV, so getting testing for HIV is also important.



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