Which diagnostic test findings are expected in patients with inactive hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) disease?

Updated: Aug 01, 2018
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

The term “healthy carriers” is no longer used due to the fact that a person who is positive for HBsAg has a high risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and, therefore, cannot be defined as healthy. Such individuals have normal AST and ALT levels, with markers of infectivity, such as HBeAg, being negative and HBV DNA going undetected or being detected at very low levels (usually below 2,000 IU/ml). HBsAg, anti-HBc of IgG type, and anti-HBe are present in the serum. A minimum follow-up of these patients for 1 year with laboratory evaluation every 3 to 4 months is recommended.


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