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question on hep b labs
pvk

When I found out I had hep c, my dr. tested me for hep b (among other things).  I assumed that I didn't have it because after the test he sent me to be vaccinated against b.  Now I've taken a closer look at the labwork.  Here's what it says:

hep b surface ag: neg
hep b surface ab: neg
hep b core ab, eia: pos

What does that mean?  Do I have some form of hep b too?  Does it make sense that my doctor had me get the vaccination if I already have hep b?  Is it much worse to have hep b when you already have c?

Thanks for any information or advice anyone might be able to offer.  

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Avatar universal
here my laymen's interpretation

The really good point is that the HBV surface ag is negative. So the odds are much in your favor that you do not have HBV.

But there are the core antibodies, which would require a bit more investigation.

I would say, your HBV antibody/antigen profile couble be compatible with the "window period" seen during the recovery period from acute HBV: In this period, surface antigen is already negative, yet, surface antibody is not detectable YET, while  the core antibody is positive

In any case, to be absolutely sure, a re-test will be necessary. Here is what i woud test, in a couple of weeks, with your doctors' guidance:

- HBV surface antibodies: they should become detectable, to confirm you are healed of HBV and immune
- HBV core antibody: could be done for both IgG and IgM, to be able to distinguish recents (IgM) from recovered or chronic infection (IgG). Might become negative.
- HBV surface antigen: should still be negative (of course! the good thing is that it is negative on your test already)
- and you might also want to test for HBV e antigen (should be negative)
- if any doubt are left one could to a HBV PCR test to look for viran RNA.

about the vaccination, i have no clue. make sure your doctor does know a lot about hepatitis. If so, then he will know if it's a good idea or not.

good luck,
Joachim
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