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Forum Name: Liver Diseases

Question: What does hepatitis Ag (HBSAg) mean?Do I have hepatitis NOW?


 FRIDA - Tue May 23, 2006 5:09 am

Hi, I have two questions and i need your professional opinion.

1. I Had blood exams and the results are hiv-negative, hcv-negative and Hbsag-negative. Should i need to have more blood exams for my hepatitis B status? What Hbsag means? That i don't have hepatitis NOW or that i never had hepatitis? Should i have the Hepatitis B antibody just to be sure or not?

2. My husband was sick for a weekend with severe diarrhea, fever, lack of appetite and red urine. The third day he was completely recovered. Do these symptoms indicate hepatitis? Is there any other condition that can cause similar symptoms especially diarrhea anbd red urine? If yes, which.

Please any answer woulb enormously apprieciated!!!

Best regards
 R. Zein, Pharm D - Tue May 23, 2006 8:47 am

User avatar Dear FRIDA

There is a simple hepatitis B blood test that your doctor or health clinic can order called the "hepatitis B blood panel". This blood sample can be taken in the doctor's office. There are 3 common tests that make up this blood panel. Sometimes the doctor may ask to check your blood again six months after your first visit to confirm your hepatitis B status. If you think you have been recently infected with hepatitis B, it will take 4 -6 weeks before the virus will be detected in your blood.

Understanding your hepatitis B blood test results can be confusing, so you want to be clear about your diagnosis - do you have a new infection, have you recovered from a past infection, or do you have a chronic infection? In addition, it is helpful if you request a written copy of your blood tests so that you fully understand which tests are positive or negative

The hepatitis B blood panel requires only one blood sample but includes three tests:

HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen)
HBsAb or Anti-HBs (hepatitis B surface antibody)
HBcAb or anti-HBc (hepatitis B core antibody)
The doctor needs all 3 blood test results in order to determine your diagnosis

To answer your question about HBSag:
it is Hepatitis B surface antigen
This tests for the presence of virus. A "positive" or "reactive" HBsAg test result means that the person is infected with the hepatitis B virus, which can be an "acute" or a "chronic" infection. Infected people can pass the virus on to others through their blood and infected bodily fluids.

as far as for hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb or anti-HBs)

A "positive" or "reactive" HBsAb (or anti-HBs) test result indicates that a person has successfully responded to the hepatitis B vaccine or has recovered from an acute hepatitis B infection. This result means that you are immune to future hepatitis B infection and you are not contagious. This test is not routinely included in blood bank screenings.

The third test or the HBcAb is an antibody that is part of the virus- it does not provide protection. A "positive" or "reactive" HBcAb (or anti-HBc) test result indicates a past or present infection, but it could also be a false positive. The interpretation of this test result depends on the results of the other two tests. Its appearance with the protective surface antibody (positive HBsAb or anti-HBs) indicates prior infection and recovery. For chronically infected persons, it will usually appear with the virus (positive HBsAg).

Since you said your HB sAG is negative, and " if you previously had previuos positive core antibody, that means that you previously had hepatitis and now you are better, therefore you negativ HBsAG indicates that you don't have the infection.

you may want to check with your dr back, in few months, to have the panel tested again to make sure you are not re-infected.

As far as for your husband, usually signs of hepatitis, are sign
of jaundice (yellowish eyes, skin, etc), light stools, and dark urine. usually the patient also complains of abdominal pain and discomfort. What you have described as of diarrhea, fever, red urine, could indicate many things, including viral or bacterial infection; so i will recommend that he sees a doctor to rule out the cause.

thank you very much, and i hope you both feel better

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