This panel contains the following tests:
Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) - A protein on the surface of the hepatitis B virus which can be detected in high levels during acute or chronic infection.
Hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) IgM - Positivity indicates recent infection with hepatitis B (≤6 months). Its presence along with the presence of HBsAg indicates acute infection.
Hepatitis A antibody (HAAb) IgM - Acute Hepatitis A is diagnosed using this antibody which typically appears within four weeks of exposure and disappears within 3 months.
Hepatitis C antibody (HCAb) - Antibodies to Hepatitis C appear in the blood two to four months after infection. Once infected with the hepatitis C virus, nearly 8 in 10 untreated people remain infected for life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 It is recommended that positive results be confirmed through use of HCV RNA (qualitative) testing using a methodology called NAA and should be discussed with your doctor.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver resulting from viruses, drugs, and/or toxins. Viral hepatitis can be due to one of at least five different viruses. Most cases are caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HAV is the most common cause of hepatitis in children and adolescents in the United States and is spread most commonly by fecal-oral exposure.
HBV produces several antigens including surface and core when it infects the liver. Following exposure, the body normally responds by producing antibodies to each of these antigens. In the U.S., sexual transmission accounts for 30% to 60% of new cases of HBV infection.1
HCV is the most common cause of post-transfusion hepatitis; overall HCV is responsible for 15% to 20% of all cases of acute hepatitis, and is the most common cause of liver transplant.2 HCV is spread exclusively through exposure to infected blood or body fluids.
If you or your doctor are concerned with symptoms of liver disease or injury, then this acute viral hepatitis panel will provide useful information regarding recent or chronic infection. In the case of chronic infection with HBV; it is recommended to retest HbsAg in 6 months and/or to confirm the presence of Anti-HBc. All positive results and follow-up testing should be discussed with your doctor.
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.