Hepatitis

Hepatitis Testing and health information

Would you like to know if you have hepatitis?

Ulta Lab Tests' hepatitis blood tests can tell you if you have hepatitis, an infection of your liver.

Hepatitis is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis, but most people think about hepatitis A, B, and C when they hear the word "hepatitis." Each type has different symptoms and causes. For example, hepatitis A usually spreads through contaminated food or water. In contrast, hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluid during sex. Hepatitis C is often transmitted by sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs with someone who already has the disease.

Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and jaundice (yellowing skin). Some people may not experience any symptoms but still, need to get tested. The only way to know for sure is through lab testing.

If you want to learn more about hepatitis and the lab tests that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not your liver is healthy – especially if there are no symptoms of any problems. With our hepatitis lab test, we give you peace of mind by letting you know if anything is wrong with your liver before it becomes a problem.

You should be regularly tested for these diseases if you have any of the following risk factors or symptoms associated with them: Blood transfusion before 1992; Chronic kidney disease; Dialysis treatment; History of tattoos or body piercing done with non-sterile instruments; Intravenous drug use (IDU); Long term hemodialysis patient; Living with an infected person who has hepatitis B or C virus infection,  intravenous drug use history, blood transfusion before 1992, chronic renal failure on dialysis treatment; Men who have sex with men (MSM); Needlestick injury from a contaminated needle used by someone else during injection drug use or healthcare procedure involving unsterilized equipment; Sexual contact with a person at risk for infection, IDU, sexual partner of an individual known to be at high risk for infection; Travel to countries where HBV is endemic.

Ulta Lab Tests offers lab tests for all three types of this infection so you can monitor your health over time and take steps towards a healthier lifestyle if necessary. It's important to monitor your health and make sure that your liver is healthy. Ulta Lab Tests can help you do just that with our hepatitis lab tests. Our tests are affordable and easy to use, so you can get the information you need about your liver quickly and easily. Get tested today!

It's important to get tested for it regularly, especially if you are at risk of contracting the virus. But with early detection and treatment, most people will recover completely in just a few months. So don't wait –get affordable hepatitis lab tests so that you can monitor your health and take action when necessary. 

Minimize the hassle and cost of lab testing with Ulta Lab Tests! We provide discounted lab tests online, with results in 24–48 hours for most tests. Plus, you can get your tests done locally and quickly at over 2,100 sites nationally. With our secure and confidential results, you may track your health over time. We also accept FSA and HSA cards.

Take control of your health by ordering your hepatitis blood tests from the list below. 


Name Matches

The tests in Hepatitis Testing Explained: Key Lab Tests and How to Understand Them

  • Hepatic Function Panel [ 10256 ]
  • Hepatitis A Antibody, Total [ 508 ]
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody (IgM) [ 4848 ]
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation [ 498 ]
  • Hepatitis C AB with reflex to HCV RNA, QN, PCR [ 8472 ]
  • Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR [ 35645 ]
     

Includes

Hepatitis A Antibody, Total; Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Qualitative; Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation; Hepatitis B Core Antibody, Total; Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to HCV, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation: Positive samples will be confirmed based on the manufacturer's FDA approved recommendations at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87341).


If Hepatitis C Antibody is reactive, Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87522).


Hepatitis A Antibody, Total (IgM - IgG)

Hepatitis A Total (IgM - IgG) Blood Test is used to help diagnose a liver infection due to the hepatitis A virus. There are several causes of hepatitis and the accompanying symptoms, so this test may be used to determine if the symptoms are due to hepatitis A.

The total Hepatitis A antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies and thus may be used to identify both current and past infections. This test will also be positive after receiving the vaccine, so sometimes it may be used to determine whether a person has developed immunity after vaccination.

  • A positive result Hepatitis A Antibody, Total that is not accompanied with Hepatitis A IgM test indicates  exposure to hepatitis A vairus but does not rule out acute infection. 
  • A Negative result Hepatitis A Antibody, Total that is not accompanied with Hepatitis A IgM test indicates no current or previous HAV infection; vaccine may be recommended if at risk.

Results of this hepatitis testing may indicate the following.

A total antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies but does not distinguish between them.

If the total antibody test or hepatitis A IgG result is positive and someone has never been vaccinated against HAV, then the person has had past exposure to the virus. About 30% of adults over age 40 have antibodies to hepatitis A.


Hepatitis A IgM Antibody

This test is used to screen for recent exposure to the Hepatitis A virus.and to help diagnose a liver infection due to the Hepatitis A virus. There are several causes of hepatitis and the accompanying symptoms, so this test may be used to determine if the symptoms are due to Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A IgM Antibody

The Hepatitis A IgM antibody test detects the first antibody produced by the body when it is exposed to Hepatitis A. This test is used to detect early or recent infections and to diagnose the disease in people with symptoms of acute hepatitis. IgM antibodies to Hepatitis A suggest a current, acute or recent Hepatitis A infection.

Results of this hepatitis testing may indicate the following:

  • If Hepatitis A IgM Antibody is positive the results indicate Acute or recent Hepatitis A virus infection.
  • If Hepatitis A IgM Antibody is negative and the Hepatitis A Antibody, Total is positive then the results indicate no active infection but previous Hepatitis A virus exposure; has developed immunity to Hepatitis A virus or recently vaccinated for Hepatitis A virus.
  • Dietary supplements containing biotin may interfere in assays and may skew analyte results to be either falsely high or falsely low. For patients receiving the recommended daily doses of biotin, draw samples at least 8 hours following the last biotin supplementation. For patients on mega-doses of biotin supplements, draw samples at least 72 hours following the last biotin supplementation.

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Hepatitis A Antibody Test to diagnose the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) in the blood. The hepatitis A test looks for antibodies to the HAV virus in the blood. These antibodies are proteins made by the body in response to the presence of the hepatitis A virus. Our type- specific hepatitis A antibody test is used to determine whether a person is or has been infected with the hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A Antibody, Total

This test is used to help diagnose a liver infection due to the hepatitis A virus. There are several causes of hepatitis and the accompanying symptoms, so this test may be used to determine if the symptoms are due to hepatitis A.

The total Hepatitis A antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies and thus may be used to identify both current and past infections. This test will also be positive after receiving the vaccine, so sometimes it may be used to determine whether a person has developed immunity after vaccination.

A positive result Hepatitis A Antibody, Total that is not accompanied with Hepatitis A IgM test indicates  exposure to hepatitis A vairus but does not rule out acute infection. 

A Negative result Hepatitis A Antibody, Total that is not accompanied with Hepatitis A IgM test indicates no current or previous HAV infection; vaccine may be recommended if at risk.


Hepatitis B Core Antibody (IgM) also known as (Anti-HBc, IgM)

Clinical Significance

Hepatitis B core-specific IgM class antibody has been detected in most acute infections and is a reliable marker for acute disease. In some cases, hepatitis B core IgM antibody may be the only specific marker for the diagnosis of acute infection with hepatitis B virus.

Alternative Name(s)

Anti-HBc, IgM

A Positive Result may indicate an Acute infection, usually with symptoms; contagious; could also be flare of chronic infection or Acute infection is resolving (convalescent). 


This assay does not distinguish between Total B core antibody IgG and IgM detected before or at the onset of symptoms; however, such reactivity can persist for years after illness, and may even outlast anti-HBs. Occasionally Hepatitis B core antibody may be the only marker of either current or past Hepatitis B infection.


Description: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Qualitative is a test that will determine if there are Hep B antibodies present in the blood.

Also Known As: Hep B Test, Hep B Surface Antibody Test, Hep B Antibody Test, Hepatitis B Antibody Test, Hep B Surface Ab Test, HBV Antibody Test, HBV Surface Antibody Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test ordered?

When someone exhibits acute hepatitis-related signs and symptoms, a hepatitis B test may be requested to evaluate whether the symptoms are caused by HBV infection.

When the findings of normal testing, such as ALT and/or AST, are increased, hepatitis B tests may be performed as a follow-up. Since they may only cause minor symptoms that can be mistaken for the flu, acute forms of hepatitis can occasionally be identified in this way. Chronic hepatitis is more frequently found when routine test results are abnormal and more frequently has no symptoms.

When a person is at high risk for developing chronic hepatitis B, a test for hepatitis B surface antigen may be utilized for screening.

Hepatitis B tests may be run on a regular basis to check on persons with chronic hepatitis B infections. Since HBeAg may disappear on its own in certain individuals, hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B e antigen measurements are often performed every six to twelve months. HBeAg and HBV DNA testing can be used to evaluate the efficacy of treatment in patients with chronic HBV.

What does a Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test check for?

Hepatitis B tests look for chemicals that indicate a recent or past hepatitis B virus infection. While some tests look for viral proteins or antibodies created in response to an infection, others look for or assess the virus' genetic makeup. A person who has immunity as a result of prior exposure or who now has an active infection can be determined by the pattern of test findings.

The symptoms of hepatitis include inflammation and liver enlargement. It can be caused by a number of different things, one of which is virus infection. One of the five "hepatitis viruses" that have been found thus far is HBV. Hepatitis A, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E make up the remaining four.

Contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person can transfer HBV. For instance, sharing needles for IV drug usage or having sex without protection can expose someone. Greater risk applies to people who reside in or travel to regions of the world where hepatitis B is common. Rarely, generally during or after birth, women might transmit the virus to their newborns. The virus cannot be spread by innocuous actions like shaking hands, coughing, or sneezing. However, the virus can survive outside the body for up to seven days, including in dried blood. It can also spread through the sharing of objects like toothbrushes or razors with an infected individual.

Effective hepatitis B vaccines have been available in the United States since 1981, and starting in 1991, medical professionals there started immunizing newborns. Nevertheless, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is present in between 804,000 and 1.4 million Americans, the majority of whom are unaware that they are infected.

HBV infections can range in severity from a brief, mild form to a more dangerous, chronic variant that lasts for years. Serious side effects from persistent HBV can occasionally include cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Acute HBV infection, albeit potentially dangerous, typically goes away on its own in most adults. Children and infants are more likely than adults to have a persistent infection. 90% of newborns with HBV infection go on to acquire a chronic illness. Between 25% and 50% of children between the ages of one and five are at risk of acquiring chronic hepatitis. Only 6% to 10% of HBV infections that start after age five progress to chronic disease.

Most people with persistent infections won't show any symptoms. The signs and symptoms of acute infections are quite similar to those of other acute hepatitis types. Fever, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice are among the symptoms. The liver is damaged and unable to function normally when someone has acute hepatitis. It might not eliminate toxins or waste materials from the body, such bilirubin. Bilirubin and liver enzyme levels in the blood may rise as the disease progresses. Although tests like bilirubin or a liver panel can show a doctor that a patient has hepatitis, they cannot tell them what is causing it. The cause may be found with tests that look for hepatitis virus infection.

Testing for hepatitis B can be done in the absence of symptoms, to identify if an infection is acute or chronic, or to keep track of a chronic infection and how well therapy is working.

Lab tests often ordered with a Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test:

  • Hepatitis A Antibody Testing
  • Hepatitis C Antibody Testing

Conditions where a Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test?

Antibody generated in response to HBV surface antigen is detected by hepatitis B surface antibody test. It is used to determine the necessity for immunization or if a person has recovered from an infection and is immune. It can also arise from effective vaccination.

What do my Qualitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test results mean?

If antibodies are not detected, it indicates that a person has not developed antibodies to the Hepatitis B Virus.

If antibodies are detected, it indicates that a person has developed antibodies to the Hepatitis B Virus.

Clinical Significance

The detection of anti-HBs is indicative of a prior immunologic exposure to the antigen or vaccine. To determine immune status as ≥10 mIU/mL as per CDC guidelines, please order Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Quantitative.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Quantitative is a test that will determine if there are Hep B antibodies present in the blood.

Also Known As: Hep B Test, Hep B Surface Antibody Test, Hep B Antibody Test, Hepatitis B Antibody Test, Hep B Surface Ab Test, HBV Antibody Test, HBV Surface Antibody Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative test ordered:

Hepatitis B antibody testing is generally ordered to determine immunity to Hepatitis B through the detection of antibodies in the blood. This testing is often requested for medical records related to school and healthcare professions.

What does a Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative blood test check for?

Antibodies to the hepatitis B virus are detected in hepatitis B antibody tests, which indicate a past infection or immunization against the virus.

Hepatitis is a liver infection that causes inflammation and enlargement. It can be caused by a number of factors, one of which is virus infection. HBV is one of five "hepatitis viruses" known to primarily infect the liver that have been found thus far. Hepatitis A, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E are the other four.

HBV is disseminated through coming into touch with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids. For example, exposure can occur through the sharing of IV drug needles or through unprotected intercourse. People who reside in or travel to places of the world where hepatitis B is common are more vulnerable. Mothers can spread the virus to their newborns on a rare occasion, generally during or after delivery. The virus is not spread through simple hand-to-hand contact, coughing, or sneezing. The virus, however, can survive for up to seven days outside the body, including in dried blood, and can be spread by sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected individual.

Effective hepatitis B vaccines have been available in the United States since 1981, and health care providers began immunizing infants at birth in 1991. Despite this, the CDC believes that between 804,000 and 1.4 million persons in the United States are infected with the virus, the majority of whom are unaware of their infection.

HBV infections can range in severity from a mild infection that lasts a few weeks to a more dangerous chronic infection that lasts years. Chronic HBV can sometimes lead to significant problems including cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The great majority of people who have chronic infections don't show any signs or symptoms. The symptoms of acute infections are remarkably similar to other types of acute hepatitis. Fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice are some of the symptoms. The liver is damaged and unable to function normally in acute hepatitis. It may not be able to remove toxins or waste products like bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin and liver enzyme levels in the blood may rise as the disease progresses. While tests like bilirubin and a liver panel can tell a doctor if someone has hepatitis, they can't tell them what's causing it. Tests for hepatitis virus infection may aid in determining the cause.

Lab tests often ordered with a Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative test:

  • Hepatitis A antibody test
  • Hepatitis C antibody test
  • Acute Viral Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Bilirubin Fractionated
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • AST
  • ALT
  • Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase

Conditions where a Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a Quantitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody test?

Antibody generated in response to HBV surface antigen is detected by hepatitis B surface antibody test. It is used to determine the necessity for immunization or if a person has recovered from an infection and is immune. It can also arise from effective vaccination.

What do my Hepatitis B antibody test results mean?

If antibodies are not detected, it indicates that a person has not developed antibodies to the Hepatitis B Virus.

If antibodies are detected, it indicates that a person has developed antibodies to the Hepatitis B Virus.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The hepatitis B Surface antigen test is a blood test that checks for hepatitis b antigen in your blood’s serum. If hepatitis B antigen is detected, confirmation testing will be performed.

Also Known As: Hep B Test, HBsAg Test, Hepatitis B Antigen Test, HBV Test, HBV Surface Antigen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT:  NOTE THIS IS A REFLUX TEST - The price charged for this test is only for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF $39 WILL OCCUR FOR THE REFLUX CONFIRMATION if the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen is positive.

When is a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test ordered?

When someone develops signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis, hepatitis B tests may be conducted to see if they are caused by HBV infection.

When standard test findings such as ALT and/or AST are elevated, hepatitis B testing may be ordered as a follow-up. Acute varieties of hepatitis can sometimes be diagnosed this way since they only generate minor symptoms that are easily confused with the flu. Chronic hepatitis is more typically diagnosed when routine test results are abnormal and has no symptoms.

When someone falls into one of the high risk categories for chronic hepatitis B, a test for hepatitis B surface antigen may be utilized for screening.

Hepatitis B tests may be repeated on a regular basis to monitor persons who have chronic hepatitis B infections. Hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis Be antigen are normally evaluated every 6 months to a year since HBeAg can disappear on its own in certain persons. HBeAg and HBV DNA testing can be used to detect whether or not a patient is receiving effective treatment for chronic HBV.

What does a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen blood test check for?

Hepatitis B tests look for chemicals that indicate a present or former hepatitis B infection. Some tests look for viral antigen or antibodies produced in response to an infection, while others look for or analyse the virus's genetic material. A person with a current active infection or immunity as a result of earlier exposure can be identified by the pattern of test findings.

Hepatitis is a liver infection that causes inflammation and enlargement. It can be caused by a number of factors, one of which is virus infection. HBV is one of five "hepatitis viruses" known to primarily infect the liver that have been found thus far. Hepatitis A, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E are the other four.

HBV is transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids. For example, exposure can occur through the sharing of IV drug needles or through unprotected intercourse. People who live in or go to locations where hepatitis B is widespread are more vulnerable. Mothers can spread the virus to their newborns on a rare occasion, usually during or after delivery. The virus is not spread through simple hand-to-hand contact, coughing, or sneezing. The virus, however, can survive for up to seven days outside the body, including in dried blood, and can be spread by exchanging razors or toothbrushes with an infected individual.

Efficient hepatitis B vaccines have already been available in the United States since 1981, and health care providers began immunizing newborns at birth in 1991. Despite this, the CDC believes that between 804,000 and 1.4 million persons in the United States are infected with the virus, the majority of whom are unaware of their infection.

HBV infections can range in severity from a mild infection that lasts a few weeks to a more dangerous chronic infection that lasts years. Chronic HBV can sometimes lead to significant problems including cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Acute HBV infection, albeit potentially dangerous, normally goes away on its own in most adults. Infants and children are more likely than adults to get a persistent infection. Ninety percent of newborns affected with HBV will develop a chronic illness. Between the ages of one and five, the risk of having chronic hepatitis lowers to 25% to 50%. Only 6% to 10% of HBV illnesses become chronic in children over the age of five.

The great majority of people who have chronic infections don't show any signs or symptoms. The symptoms of acute infections are remarkably similar to other types of acute hepatitis. Fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice are some of the symptoms. The liver is damaged and unable to function normally in acute hepatitis. It may not be able to remove toxins or waste products like bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin and hepatic enzyme levels in the blood may rise as the disease progresses. While tests like bilirubin and a liver panel can tell a doctor if someone has hepatitis, they can't tell them what's causing it. Tests for hepatitis virus infection may aid in determining the cause.

Hepatitis B testing can be used to detect infection in the absence of symptoms, to establish whether an infection is acute or chronic, and to track the progress of a chronic infection and its treatment.

Lab tests often ordered with a a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test:

  • Hepatitis A Test
  • Hepatitis C Test
  • Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Bilirubin
  • AST
  • AST
  • GGT
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Liver Disease
  • HIV

How does my health care provider use a Hepatitis B Antigen test?

Hepatitis B viral tests can be used for a number of different reasons. Some tests look for antibodies produced in response to HBV infection, while others look for antigens produced by the virus and yet others look for viral DNA.

In most cases, one set of tests is used as an initial panel of tests to diagnose HBV infection or determine the reason of acute symptoms, while another set of tests may be performed after a diagnosis to track disease progression, detect chronic infection, and/or determine carrier status.

What do my Hepatitis B Surface antigen test results mean?

Hepatitis B tests can be requested alone, although they are frequently ordered in combination, depending on the purpose for testing. The results of the tests are usually compared. The significance of one test result may be influenced by the outcome of another. However, not everyone is subjected to all tests.

If the findings of initial and follow-up testing suggest that a person has chronic hepatitis B, the individual may be treated with medication, and the effectiveness of that therapy can be tracked using HBe antigen and antibody tests, as well as HBV DNA tests.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: The hepatitis B Surface antigen test is a blood test that checks for hepatitis b antigen in your blood’s serum. If hepatitis B antigen is detected, confirmation testing will be performed.

Also Known As: Hep B Test, HBsAg Test, Hepatitis B Antigen Test, HBV Test, HBV Surface Antigen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT:  NOTE THIS IS A REFLUX TEST - The price charged for this test is only for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF $39 WILL OCCUR FOR THE REFLUX CONFIRMATION if the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen is positive.

When is a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test ordered?

When someone develops signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis, hepatitis B tests may be conducted to see if they are caused by HBV infection.

When standard test findings such as ALT and/or AST are elevated, hepatitis B testing may be ordered as a follow-up. Acute varieties of hepatitis can sometimes be diagnosed this way since they only generate minor symptoms that are easily confused with the flu. Chronic hepatitis is more typically diagnosed when routine test results are abnormal and has no symptoms.

When someone falls into one of the high risk categories for chronic hepatitis B, a test for hepatitis B surface antigen may be utilized for screening.

Hepatitis B tests may be repeated on a regular basis to monitor persons who have chronic hepatitis B infections. Hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis Be antigen are normally evaluated every 6 months to a year since HBeAg can disappear on its own in certain persons. HBeAg and HBV DNA testing can be used to detect whether or not a patient is receiving effective treatment for chronic HBV.

What does a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen blood test check for?

Hepatitis B tests look for chemicals that indicate a present or former hepatitis B infection. Some tests look for viral antigen or antibodies produced in response to an infection, while others look for or analyse the virus's genetic material. A person with a current active infection or immunity as a result of earlier exposure can be identified by the pattern of test findings.

Hepatitis is a liver infection that causes inflammation and enlargement. It can be caused by a number of factors, one of which is virus infection. HBV is one of five "hepatitis viruses" known to primarily infect the liver that have been found thus far. Hepatitis A, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E are the other four.

HBV is transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids. For example, exposure can occur through the sharing of IV drug needles or through unprotected intercourse. People who live in or go to locations where hepatitis B is widespread are more vulnerable. Mothers can spread the virus to their newborns on a rare occasion, usually during or after delivery. The virus is not spread through simple hand-to-hand contact, coughing, or sneezing. The virus, however, can survive for up to seven days outside the body, including in dried blood, and can be spread by exchanging razors or toothbrushes with an infected individual.

Efficient hepatitis B vaccines have already been available in the United States since 1981, and health care providers began immunizing newborns at birth in 1991. Despite this, the CDC believes that between 804,000 and 1.4 million persons in the United States are infected with the virus, the majority of whom are unaware of their infection.

HBV infections can range in severity from a mild infection that lasts a few weeks to a more dangerous chronic infection that lasts years. Chronic HBV can sometimes lead to significant problems including cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Acute HBV infection, albeit potentially dangerous, normally goes away on its own in most adults. Infants and children are more likely than adults to get a persistent infection. Ninety percent of newborns affected with HBV will develop a chronic illness. Between the ages of one and five, the risk of having chronic hepatitis lowers to 25% to 50%. Only 6% to 10% of HBV illnesses become chronic in children over the age of five.

The great majority of people who have chronic infections don't show any signs or symptoms. The symptoms of acute infections are remarkably similar to other types of acute hepatitis. Fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice are some of the symptoms. The liver is damaged and unable to function normally in acute hepatitis. It may not be able to remove toxins or waste products like bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin and hepatic enzyme levels in the blood may rise as the disease progresses. While tests like bilirubin and a liver panel can tell a doctor if someone has hepatitis, they can't tell them what's causing it. Tests for hepatitis virus infection may aid in determining the cause.

Hepatitis B testing can be used to detect infection in the absence of symptoms, to establish whether an infection is acute or chronic, and to track the progress of a chronic infection and its treatment.

Lab tests often ordered with a a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test:

  • Hepatitis A Test
  • Hepatitis C Test
  • Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Bilirubin
  • AST
  • AST
  • GGT
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Liver Disease
  • HIV

How does my health care provider use a Hepatitis B Antigen test?

Hepatitis B viral tests can be used for a number of different reasons. Some tests look for antibodies produced in response to HBV infection, while others look for antigens produced by the virus and yet others look for viral DNA.

In most cases, one set of tests is used as an initial panel of tests to diagnose HBV infection or determine the reason of acute symptoms, while another set of tests may be performed after a diagnosis to track disease progression, detect chronic infection, and/or determine carrier status.

What do my Hepatitis B Surface antigen test results mean?

Hepatitis B tests can be requested alone, although they are frequently ordered in combination, depending on the purpose for testing. The results of the tests are usually compared. The significance of one test result may be influenced by the outcome of another. However, not everyone is subjected to all tests.

If the findings of initial and follow-up testing suggest that a person has chronic hepatitis B, the individual may be treated with medication, and the effectiveness of that therapy can be tracked using HBe antigen and antibody tests, as well as HBV DNA tests.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Hepatitis Be Antibody - Hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) - Detects antibody produced in response to HBV surface antigen. Used to detect previous exposure to HBV; it can also develop from successful vaccination so it is used to determine the need for vaccination (if anti-HBs is absent) or to determine if a person has recovered from an infection and is immune (cannot get the infection again).

Clinical Significance

HBeAb appears in the early convalescence of HBV infection. With carrier state and chronic hepatitis, HBeAb may not develop.

Alternative Name(s)

HBe Antibody,Anti-Hepatitis Be


Hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAG) - Detects protein produced and released into the blood. Often used as a marker of ability to spread the virus to other people (infectivity); it may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. However, there are some types (strains) of HBV that do not make e-antigen; these are especially common in the Middle East and Asia. In areas where these strains of HBV are common, testing for HBeAg is not very useful to determine whether the virus can be spread to others.

 

 

Clinical Significance

HBeAg indicates active HBV replication. Infectivity is evaluated based on HBeAg and HBsAg. When HBeAg persists much longer than 10 weeks, the patient is likely to develop chronic hepatitis and be a carrier.

Alternative Name(s)

HBe Antigen


Resolution of HBV can be assessed with the disappearance of HBeAg and the appearance of HbeAb

Description: The hepatitis C antibody test is a test that looks for the antibodies for hepatitis C, if they are found more testing will be performed. The additional test for a positive hepatitis C antibody result is a quantitative test that will measure the amount of the virus that is present. This can be used for treating hepatitis C. This test also may be used to rule out hepatitis C in many cases.

Also Known As: Anti HCV Test, HCV Antibody Test, Hep C Antibody Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT - THIS IS A REFLEX TEST AND AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF $179 WILL BE APPLIED IF THE Hepatitis C Antibody is reactive.

If Hepatitis C Antibody is reactive, then Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR will be performed at an additional charge of $179.00

When is a Hepatitis C Antibody test ordered?

The CDC recommends using an HCV antibody test to check for HCV infections in patients who:

  • Have ever injected illegal substances
  • Before July 1992, received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant.
  • Have ever received clotting factor concentrates before to 1987
  • ave ever been on long-term dialysis
  • Children born to HCV-positive women
  • Have been exposed to hepatitis C-infected blood
  • Are healthcare, emergency medical, or public safety employees who have been exposed to HCV-positive blood through needlesticks, sharps, or mucosal contact
  • Have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease
  • Have HIV and were born between 1945 and 1965, irrespective of any HCV risk factors

Since 1992, the blood supply in the United States has been regulated, and any units of blood that test positive for HCV are not used in another person. HCV infection from transfused blood is now estimated to be one case per two million transfused units.

When someone has abnormal liver panel findings, for example, or signs and symptoms of hepatitis, HCV antibody testing may be performed. It may be done as part of an acute hepatitis panel in these circumstances. Most persons who are newly infected with HCV have no symptoms or have symptoms that are so minor that they rarely induce a person to seek medical help and get tested for HCV. However, approximately 10-20% of people may have signs and symptoms such as weariness, stomach pain, decreased appetite, and jaundice.

When an antibody test is positive, an HCV RNA test or viral load is requested as follow-up testing to confirm an active infection. If the HCV antibody test is positive, some laboratories will do this test automatically.

When a person is diagnosed with HCV infection, genotyping is often requested before therapy begins to help with treatment selection.

HCV viral load testing may be ordered at the start of treatment, on a regular basis to monitor treatment response, and at the end of treatment to assess its effectiveness.

What does a Hepatitis C Antibody blood test check for?

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes a liver infection that results in liver inflammation and damage. Hepatitis C tests are a collection of tests used to detect, diagnose, and track the progress of a hepatitis C virus infection. The most frequent HCV test searches for antibodies produced in response to an HCV infection in the blood. Other assays detect viral RNA, quantify the amount of viral RNA present, or define the virus's unique subtype.

Hepatitis C is one of five hepatitis viruses known to cause the disease, with the others being A, B, D, and E. HCV is spread by contact with contaminated blood, primarily through intravenous drug users sharing needles, but also through sharing blood-contaminated personal items like razors, sex with an infected person, healthcare occupational exposure, and, less commonly, from mother to baby during childbirth. HCV was commonly spread via blood transfusions before HCV tests became accessible in the 1990s.

While HCV is not as contagious as hepatitis B, no vaccination exists to prevent infection. In North America, hepatitis C infection is a common cause of chronic liver disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 30,500 instances of acute hepatitis C in the United States in 2014, with 2.7 to 3.9 million persons living with chronic hepatitis C.

Many people who are afflicted have no symptoms and are unaware that they are infected. The acute HCV infection may produce few to mild nonspecific symptoms, and the chronic infection may go unnoticed for a decade or two before producing enough liver damage to impair liver function.

A positive antibody test is followed with a hepatitis C RNA test, which detects virus genetic material, because the antibody test can remain positive in most patients even after they have eliminated the infection. A positive RNA test result indicates that the virus is present, that the infection has not cured, and that the person may need treatment. To help guide treatment, the hepatitis C genotyping test establishes which strain of virus is present.

A liver panel, which is a collection of tests used to examine the health of the liver, can also be ordered by healthcare providers.

Lab tests often ordered with a Hepatitis C Antibody test:

  • Hepatitis A Antibody
  • Hepatitis B Antibody
  • Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • ALT
  • AST
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Conditions where a Hepatitis C Antibody test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis

How does my health care provider use a Hepatitis C Antibody test?

Hepatitis C tests are used to detect and diagnose hepatitis C virus infection, as well as to advise therapy and/or monitor the course of treatment.

An HCV antibody test is performed to determine whether or not you have been exposed to the virus before. It looks for antibodies to the virus, which indicates HCV infection. This test will not tell you if you have an active or prior HCV infection. There is some evidence that a "weakly positive" test could be a false positive. All positive antibody tests should be followed by an HCV RNA test, which identifies viral RNA in the blood to assess whether or not the person has a current infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The HCV antibody test can be used to establish which of the most prevalent hepatitis viruses is causing a person's symptoms as part of an acute viral hepatitis panel.

The tests listed below can help identify an infection and advise and monitor treatment:

HCV RNA tests: A quantitative HCV RNA test detects and counts viral RNA particles in the blood. This test can be used to confirm the virus's presence and diagnose a live infection. Viral load assays are also used before and throughout treatment to compare the amount of virus present before and after treatment to measure treatment response.

HCV RNA, Qualitative is used to determine whether an infection is present or past. If any HCV viral RNA is identified, the result is reported as "positive" or "detected"; otherwise, the result is ""negative"" or "not detected." This test is no longer often used.

To help guide treatment, viral genotyping is done to detect the kind, or genotype, of HCV present. HCV has five basic kinds and more than 50 subtypes; the most common, genotype 1, accounts for around 75% of infections in the United States. The medications chosen for treatment are influenced by the genotype of HCV infection.

What do my Hepatitis C Antibody test results mean?

Antibody tests for HCV are usually reported as "positive" or "negative."

If the virus is present, the results of HCV viral load tests are provided as a number. The result is frequently reported as "negative" or "not found" if no virus is present or if the amount of virus is too small to detect.

The table below shows how the HCV screening and follow-up tests are interpreted. If the HCV antibody test is positive, the person tested is infected or has likely been infected with hepatitis C at some point. If the HCV RNA test comes back positive, the person is currently infected. If no HCV viral RNA is found, the person either does not have an active infection or has very low levels of the virus.

Antibody to HCV HCV RNA Negative for HCV infection There is no infection or it is too soon after exposure for the test to be reliable; if suspicion persists, retesting at a later period may be necessary.

Positive or inconclusive Negative Past infection or no illness; if necessary, additional tests

Positive, Negative, or Indeterminate Infection currently present

An HCV viral load can be used to determine whether or not treatment is working for monitoring purposes. A high or increasing viral load could indicate that treatment isn't working, whereas a low, declining, or undetectable viral load could indicate that it is.

Successful treatment reduces viral load by 99 percent or more shortly after starting treatment and frequently results in undetectable viral load when treatment is finished. An undetectable viral load in a treated person's blood 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment indicates that the HCV infection has responded to therapy, according to guidelines from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

The findings of the HCV genotype test determine the strain of HCV a person has and aid in treatment selection and duration. Treatment options vary depending on a number of criteria, including the person's HCV genotype and liver condition.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Genotype, LiPA

Clinical Significance

Determination of hepatitis C genotype is often required to select the most appropriate direct acting agent(s) (DAA) for the treatment of hepatitis C. Some DAA's are only effective for the treatment of hepatitis C genotype 1, whereas others may be used for additional genotypes. Refer to the package inserts of the relevant DAA's for guidance.

 


Description: Hepatitis C Viral RNA Quantitative is a blood test that detects and measures Viral HCV RNA in the blood. This test is used to check if a patient has an active Hepatitis C infection.

Also Known As: HCV Test, HCV RNA Test, HCV Viral Load Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test ordered?

When an antibody test is positive, more testing is required to confirm an active infection, such as an HCV RNA test or viral load. In some labs, if the HCV antibody test is positive, this test will be run immediately.

Testing for HCV viral load may be required before starting therapy, on a regular basis to track treatment response, and at the end of treatment to gauge its efficacy.

What does a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test check for?

The liver infection known as hepatitis C is brought on by a virus and is characterized by liver inflammation and destruction. Hepatitis C tests are a collection of tests used to identify, pinpoint, and track the progress of a hepatitis C virus infection. The most popular HCV test checks for blood antibodies created in response to an HCV infection. Other tests identify the specific subtype of the virus or measure the quantity or presence of viral RNA.

One of the five hepatitis viruses known to cause the disease, along with hepatitis A, B, D, and E, is hepatitis C. HCV is spread through contact with contaminated blood, primarily through the sharing of needles by intravenous drug users, but it can also be transmitted through sex with an infected person, through occupational exposure in the healthcare industry, and, less frequently, from a mother to her unborn child during childbirth. Before HCV testing were made available in the 1990s, blood transfusions were a common way for HCV to spread.

There is presently no vaccination to prevent infection with HCV, despite the fact that it is less contagious than hepatitis B. In North America, hepatitis C infection is a typical contributor to chronic liver disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were roughly 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C in the United States in 2014, and there are between 2.7 and 3.9 million Americans who have chronic hepatitis C.

Many infected people exhibit no symptoms and are unaware of their illness. The acute HCV infection may not manifest any symptoms or only mild, nonspecific ones, whereas the chronic infection may go unnoticed for ten or twenty years before producing enough liver damage to impair liver function.

Hepatitis C antibody tests are used to check for the infection in persons, such as those with risk factors but no visible symptoms, those who have hepatitis or liver disease symptoms, or those who have been exposed to the virus.

A positive antibody test is followed by a hepatitis C RNA test, which detects the genetic material of the virus, because the antibody test can remain positive in the majority of patients even though they have recovered from the infection. A positive RNA test result indicates the virus is present, the infection has not cleared up, and treatment may be necessary.

A liver panel is a collection of tests that doctors might conduct to evaluate the condition of the liver.

Lab tests often ordered with a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test:

  • Hepatitis C Antibody Test
  • Hepatitis A Testing
  • Hepatitis B Testing
  • Acute Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Bilirubin
  • AST
  • ALT
  • GGT

Conditions where a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis B
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test?

Hepatitis C tests are used to detect and identify the presence of the hepatitis C virus, to direct therapy, and/or to track the progress of an HCV infection.

The HCV RNA test finds and counts the amount of viral RNA in the blood. This examination may be used to identify an ongoing infection and confirm the virus's existence. By comparing the amount of virus before and after treatment, viral load tests are also used to assist measure the effectiveness of the medication.

What do my Hepatitis C Viral RNA test results mean?

If the virus is present, the HCV viral load test results are given as a number. The result is frequently labeled "negative" or "not detected" if there is no virus present or if the virus concentration is too low to detect it.

The individual has an active infection if the HCV RNA test is positive. If no HCV viral RNA is found, either the person does not have an active infection or there are extremely few copies of the virus in their system.

An HCV viral load can show whether or not treatment is working for monitoring purposes. A high or rising viral load can indicate that the treatment is ineffective, whereas a low, falling, or undetectable viral load might suggest that it is.

Soon after starting treatment, a successful course of treatment induces a reduction in viral load of 99% or more, and after treatment is finished, the viral load is typically undetectable. An undetectable viral load in a treated person's blood 12 weeks after the completion of treatment indicates that the HCV infection has responded to therapy, per recommendations from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Actin is the major antigen to which smooth muscle antibodies react in autoimmune hepatitis. F-Actin IgG antibodies are found in 52-85% of patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) or chronic active hepatitis and in 22% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Anti-actin antibodies have been reported in 3-18% of sera from normal healthy controls.

Serum albumin measurements are used in the monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases involving those related to nutrition and pathology particularly in the liver and kidney. Serum albumin is valuable when following response to therapy where improvement in the serum albumin level is the best sign of successful medical treatment. There may be a loss of albumin in the gastrointestinal tract, in the urine secondary to renal damage or direct loss of albumin through the skin. More than 50% of patients with gluten enteropathy have depressed albumin. The only cause of increased albumin is dehydration; there is no naturally occurring hyperalbuminemia

Most Popular
Aids in the diagnosis of primary disease of skeletal muscle myocardial infarction and viral hepatitis.

Description: An Alkaline Phosphatase test or ALP is a blood test that is used to screen for and monitor liver disease, bone disorders, and gallbladder disease.

Also Known As: ALP Test, Alk Phos Test, Alkp Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alkaline Phosphatase test ordered?

An ALP test may be requested as a standard laboratory test, frequently in conjunction with a liver panel of further assays. When a person exhibits signs of a liver or bone issue, it is frequently requested in conjunction with a number of additional tests.

What does an Alkaline Phosphatase test check for?

An enzyme called alkaline phosphatase is present in many bodily tissues. The cells that make up bone and the liver have the highest quantities of ALP. Liver illness or bone diseases are the most frequent causes of high blood levels of ALP. The blood's concentration of ALP is determined by this test.

ALP is located in the liver on the margins of cells that converge to form bile ducts, which are minuscule tubes that transport bile from the liver to the bowels, where it is required to aid in the digestion of dietary fat. Osteoblasts, specialized cells involved in bone production, are responsible for producing ALP in bone. Isoenzymes, which are produced in unique forms by each type of tissue, are ALP.

For instance, when one or more bile ducts are obstructed, ALP blood levels may significantly rise. Gallbladder inflammation or gallstones may be the cause of this. Blood ALP levels rise slightly more subtly in cirrhosis, liver cancer, hepatitis, and when liver-toxic medications are used.

Increased ALP levels can result from any condition that promotes excessive bone growth, including bone diseases like Paget's disease. Because their bones are still growing, children and adolescents often have higher blood ALP levels. Because of this, the ALP test needs to be interpreted differently for children and adults.

It is feasible to distinguish between the various ALP forms generated by various bodily tissues. A test may be run to identify which isoenzyme is elevated in the blood if it is unclear from clinical signs and symptoms whether the cause of a high ALP test result is liver or bone illness.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alkaline Phosphatase test:

  • AST
  • ALT
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Alkaline Phosphatase Isoenzymes

Conditions where an Alkaline Phosphatase test is recommended:

  • Lier Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Jaundice
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget’s Disease
  • Vitamin D Deficiency

How does my health care provider use an Alkaline Phosphatase test?

Using the alkaline phosphatase test, liver disease and bone diseases can be found.

Damaged liver cells produce more ALP into the blood under situations that harm the liver. Because ALP levels are particularly high at the margins of the cells that unite to form bile ducts, this test is frequently used to identify obstructed bile ducts. Blood levels of ALP are frequently high when one or more of them are blocked, such as by a tumor.

ALP levels in the blood can be impacted by any illness or disease that hinders bone development or increases bone cell activity. For instance, an ALP test may be used to identify tumors that have metastasized to the bones or to identify Paget's disease, a condition that results in deformed bones. This examination could occasionally be used to track the progress of patients being treated for Paget's disease or other bone disorders such vitamin D insufficiency.

Tests for the ALP isoenzyme may be performed to identify the cause if ALP readings are elevated but it is unclear whether this is related to liver or bone illness. To distinguish between liver and bone illness, one may additionally perform a GGT test and/or a test for 5'-nucleotidase. The levels of GGT and 5'-nucleotidase are elevated in liver illness but not in disorders of the bones.

What do my Alkaline Phosphatase test results mean?

High ALP typically indicates the presence of a disease that increases bone cell activity or liver damage.

The liver is typically where the elevated ALP is coming from if other liver tests, such as bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase, or alanine aminotransferase, are also high. The high ALP is probably the result of liver illness if GGT or 5-nucleotidase levels are also elevated. If one of these two tests comes out normal, a bone issue is probably to blame for the high ALP. The ALP is typically coming from bone if calcium and/or phosphorus readings are abnormal.

A test for ALP isoenzymes may be required to differentiate between bone and liver ALP if it is unclear from signs and symptoms or other regular testing whether the high ALP is from the liver or bone.

ALP test findings are typically analyzed alongside those of other liver disease testing. ALP is commonly significantly less increased than AST and ALT in several types of liver illness, such as hepatitis. ALP and bilirubin may increase substantially higher than AST or ALT when the bile ducts are obstructed. ALP levels in liver cancer may also be higher.

ALP may be elevated in some bone illnesses, such as Paget's disease, which causes enlarged and misshapen bones, or in some cancers that extend to the bone.

ALP levels will eventually drop or return to normal if Paget's disease is successfully treated in a patient. ALP levels should fall if someone with liver or bone cancer responds to therapy.

Other illnesses include Hodgkin's lymphoma, congestive heart failure, ulcerative colitis, and specific bacterial infections can cause moderately high ALP.

ALP levels may briefly drop after cardiac bypass surgery or blood transfusions. Levels may drop as a result of a zinc deficiency. Hypophosphatasia, a rare genetic bone metabolism condition, can result in extremely low levels of ALP that persist for a long time. Wilson disease, protein insufficiency, and malnutrition are further potential reasons of low ALP.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is a blood test used to detect the protein alpha-fetoprotein which is produced by the liver.

Also Known As: AFP Test, Total AFP Test, AFP-L3 Test, Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumor Markers, Alpha-Fetoprotein Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test ordered?

An AFP blood test may be ordered by a healthcare provider:

  • When abdominal masses are felt during a medical examination or imaging testing reveal possible malignancies, it is likely that someone has liver cancer or certain malignancies of the testicles or ovaries.
  • When someone has been diagnosed with and treated for cancer of the liver, testicles, or ovaries, the success of treatment is being assessed.
  • When someone is being watched for a recurrence of cancer
  • Patients with persistent hepatitis or liver cirrhosis should be followed up on.
  • When a person has chronic liver illness, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered to help evaluate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, test the efficiency of hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, or monitor for recurrence.

What does an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 blood test check for?

Alpha-fetoprotein is a protein produced predominantly by the liver of a developing baby and the yolk cavity of a developing embryo. When a baby is born, AFP levels are usually high and then rapidly drop. Liver injury and certain malignancies can drastically raise AFP levels. This test determines the amount of AFP in your blood.

When the liver cells regenerate, AFP is generated. AFP can be continuously high in chronic liver illnesses such hepatitis and cirrhosis. Certain cancers can produce extremely high quantities of AFP. Because of this, the AFP test can be used as a tumor marker. Many persons with hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma, a kind of liver cancer that affects babies, have elevated levels of AFP. They're also discovered in certain persons who have testicular or ovarian cancer.

There are various different types of AFP. The normal AFP test measures total AFP, which includes all of the AFP variations. In the United States, this is the most common AFP test.

One of the AFP variations is known as L3 because of its propensity to attach to a protein called Lens culinaris agglutinin in the lab. The AFP-L3 percent test compares the quantity of AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP and is a relatively recent test. Increased L3 levels are linked to a higher likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in the near future, as well as a worse prognosis, because L3-related malignancies are more aggressive.

AFP-L3 can be higher in people with hepatocellular carcinoma than in those with benign liver disorders who have low total AFP. In Japan, tumor markers such as total AFP and AFP-L3 are utilized in conjunction with ultrasound to monitor hepatocellular carcinoma. This procedure differs from that in the United States and Europe, but healthcare practitioners in the United States occasionally order the two tests.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test:

  • CEA
  • CA-125
  • hCG Tumor Marker
  • DCP

Conditions where an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer

How does my health care provider use an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test?

The tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein is used to detect and diagnose malignancies of the liver, testicles, and ovaries. Despite the fact that the test is frequently done to monitor persons with chronic liver illnesses including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B, or hepatitis C who have an elevated lifetime risk of developing liver cancer, most current guidelines do not advocate it. An AFP test, together with imaging studies, may be ordered by a healthcare provider to try to diagnose liver cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

If a person has been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma or another type of AFP-producing cancer, an AFP test may be done on a regular basis to assess treatment response and disease recurrence.

When comparing the amount of the AFP variation AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered. The AFP-L3 percent test is not extensively used in the United States, but it is becoming more popular in other nations, such as Japan. The test is used to assess the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in people with chronic liver disease, as well as the response of the cancer to treatment.

What do my Alpha-fetoprotein test results mean?

Increased AFP levels can suggest the presence of cancer, such as liver cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular germ cell tumors. However, not all cancers of the liver, ovary, or testicles produce substantial amounts of AFP.

Other malignancies, such as stomach, colon, lung, breast, and lymphoma, might sometimes have elevated levels, but it is rarely ordered to check these illnesses. Cirrhosis and hepatitis are two disorders that can generate elevated levels.

When using AFP as a monitoring tool, lower levels suggest a therapeutic response. If concentrations do not considerably drop after cancer therapy, usually to normal or near-normal levels, some tumor tissue may still be present.

If AFP levels start to rise, the cancer is most likely to return. However, because AFP levels can be deceiving in hepatitis or cirrhosis, AFP levels can be misleading. If AFP levels are not raised prior to therapy, the test will not be useful in monitoring treatment effectiveness or detecting recurrence.

People with chronic liver disease have a higher chance of getting liver cancer when their AFP levels rise from normal to moderately raised to significantly elevated. When total AFP and AFP-L3 percent are highly higher, the person is more likely to develop or have hepatocellular carcinoma in the next year or two. In persons with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, however, both AFP and AFP-L3 percent concentrations might be increased and fluctuate. In these circumstances, a significant increase in AFP is more essential than the test result's numerical value.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: An ALT test is a blood test that is used to screen for and diagnose liver disease.

Also Known As: Alanine Aminotransferase Test, Alanine Transaminase Test, GPT Test, SGPT Test, Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alanine Transaminase test ordered?

When a person undergoes a standard health examination, ALT may be ordered as part of a full metabolic panel.

When a person has signs and symptoms of a liver problem, a healthcare provider will usually prescribe an ALT test.

Because many people with minor liver damage have no signs or symptoms, ALT may be ordered alone or in combination with other tests for persons who are at an elevated risk for liver disease. With modest liver injury, ALT levels will rise even if there are no other symptoms.

ALT may be ordered on a frequent basis during the course of treatment to establish whether the medication is effective when it is used to monitor the treatment of persons with liver disease.

What does an Alanine Transaminase blood test check for?

Alanine aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. It's also found in much lesser concentrations in the heart and muscles. This test determines the amount of ALT in your blood.

The enzyme ALT converts alanine, a protein amino acid, into pyruvate, an important intermediary in cellular energy production. ALT levels in the blood are low in healthy people. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured, frequently before more evident indications of liver injury, such as jaundice, appear. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

The liver is a critical organ positioned directly behind the rib cage on the upper right side of the abdomen. It is engaged in a variety of vital bodily functions. The liver aids in the digestion of nutrients, creates bile to aid in fat digestion, produces a variety of essential proteins such as blood clotting factors and albumin, and breaks down potentially hazardous compounds into safe substances that the body may utilize or discard.

Damage to liver cells can be caused by a variety of factors, resulting in an elevation in ALT. The test is most useful for detecting damage caused by hepatitis or medications or other toxins that are harmful to the liver.

As part of a liver panel, ALT is frequently tested alongside aspartate aminotransferase, another liver enzyme. When the liver is injured, both ALT and AST levels rise, albeit ALT is more specific for the liver and may be the only one to rise in some circumstances. An AST/ALT ratio can be used to help distinguish between different types of liver injury and their severity, as well as to distinguish liver injury from heart or muscle damage.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alanine Transaminase test:

  • AST
  • ALP
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Liver Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin
  • Total Protein
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Hepatitis Panel General

Conditions where a an Alanine Transaminase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Wilson Disease
  • Hemochromatosis

How does my health care provider use an Alanine Transaminase test?

The alanine aminotransferase test is commonly used to diagnose liver damage. It's frequently ordered as part of a liver panel or complete metabolic panel with aspartate aminotransferase to screen for and/or diagnose liver disease.

ALT is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

Although ALT is more specific to the liver than AST, they are both considered to be two of the most significant tests for detecting liver impairment. When AST is directly compared to ALT, an AST/ALT ratio is calculated. This ratio can assist distinguish between different types of liver disease and identify cardiac or muscle harm.

To assess which type of liver illness is present, ALT values are frequently matched to the results of other tests such as alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and bilirubin.

ALT is frequently requested to monitor the therapy of people with liver disease to evaluate if it is effective, and it can be ordered alone or in combination with other tests.

What do my ALT test results mean?

A low ALT level in the blood is normal and anticipated. The most prevalent cause of ALT levels that are higher than normal is liver disease.

Acute hepatitis and viral infections are the most common causes of very elevated ALT values. ALT levels are normally elevated for 1-2 months after acute hepatitis, but they might take up to 3-6 months to return to normal. ALT levels may also be significantly raised as a result of exposure to liver-toxic medications or other chemicals, or in situations that produce reduced blood flow (ischemia) to the liver.

In chronic hepatitis, ALT levels are frequently less than four times normal. Because ALT levels in this scenario regularly fluctuate between normal and slightly elevated, the test may be ordered frequently to observe if a trend emerges. Other reasons of mild ALT elevations include bile duct obstruction, cirrhosis, heart damage, alcohol addiction, and liver cancers.

ALT is frequently used in conjunction with an AST test or as part of a liver panel. See the Liver Panel article for more information on ALT values in relation to other liver tests.

The ALT level is usually greater than the AST level in most forms of liver disorders, and the AST/ALT ratio is low. There are a few exceptions: in alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and heart or muscle injury, the AST/ALT ratio is frequently more than 1, and it may be greater than 1 for a day or two after the onset of acute hepatitis.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


IMPORTANT - The specimen for this test must be collected at a patient service center that can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.  

IMPORTANT: Before ordering this lab test, check and confirm with the selected patient service center to ensure that they can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.

Preferred Specimen(s) 

2 mL frozen plasma collected in an EDTA (lavender-top) tube

Collection Instructions 

Collect blood from stasis-free vein of patient (e.g., no tourniquet). Patient should not clench fist during collection, as muscular exertion often increases venous ammonia levels. Patient should avoid smoking prior to phlebotomy since smoking increases plasma ammonia levels. Tubes should be filled completely and kept tightly stoppered at all times. Place immediately on ice. Separate plasma from cells within 20 minutes and freeze plasma immediately.

Transport Temperature 

Frozen

Specimen Stability 

Room temperature: Unstable
Refrigerated: Unstable
Frozen -20° C: 72 hours
Frozen -70° C: 7 days

Reject Criteria 

Hemolysis • Lipemia • Received thawed • PPT Potassium EDTA (white-top) tube

Clinical Significance

Ammonia is one of the by-products of protein metabolism. Elevated blood ammonia levels have been associated with severe liver dysfunction such as hepatic encephalopathy, coma resulting from cirrhosis, severe hepatitis, Reye's syndrome, and drug hepatotoxicity. Also, elevated blood ammonia has been reported in cardiac failure, azotemia, and pulmonary emphysema. Correlation between plasma ammonia and the degree of encephalopathy can be erratic.



Whether you’ve traveled outside the country for mission work or signed a consent form to get a tattoo, chances are you’ve heard about hepatitis before. Most of us have the general idea that there are different varieties and that some are worse than others. But which ones are the bad ones, and how do we tell if we have any of them?

The truth is that most adults will get exposed to some strain of hepatitis at some point in their lives. Knowing which strains are dangerous and when you should have hepatitis testing performed could save your life. Read on to learn more about hepatitis and the tests you can have run to screen for it.

What Is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease that causes your liver to get inflamed. It is caused by viruses and comes in three primary forms: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The three strains vary in how dangerous and long-lasting they are.

Your liver is the largest organ in your body and helps digest food and store energy. It also forms the center of your body’s detox system, meaning you never have to do another juice cleanse again. As long as it’s healthy, your liver can take care of removing any dangerous toxins from your body.

When you develop hepatitis, you may see several symptoms depending on the strain you have. Common symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and jaundice. There are vaccines you can get against certain strains of hepatitis, so be sure you’re up to date on those.

Hepatitis A 

Hepatitis A is a highly infectious viral infection and is the easiest of the strains to get. You can pick up Hepatitis A from food or water contaminated with the virus or from close contact with an infected person. There is a vaccine available to prevent this disease, and washing your hands is a great way to keep it from spreading.

Hepatitis A is the most minor of the strains, and some people who get it never develop symptoms. If you do get symptoms, you may notice you’re more fatigued, you may have sudden nausea or vomiting, or you may have pain in the upper right side of your abdomen. You may also have a low-grade fever, clay-colored bowel movements, or dark-colored urine.

In many cases, hepatitis A will resolve on its own with no treatment needed. It’s a good idea to see your doctor if you develop symptoms or if you’ve been recently out of the country to an area with poor sanitation. Most people who get hepatitis A will recover with no lasting liver damage.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a more serious form of the disease that usually lasts about six months. This disease passes through bodily fluid contact, especially during sexual interactions. You can also get hepatitis B from sharing infected needles (including tattooing needles) or through medical syringes contaminated with infected blood.

Hepatitis B symptoms can show up anywhere from one month to four months after exposure. You may notice abdominal pain, fever, dark urine, or joint pain. You may also lose your appetite, experience nausea and vomiting, feel weak and fatigued, and have abdominal pain.

In most cases, hepatitis B will resolve within six months with treatment. Sometimes, however, complications can arise that lead to a chronic infection. This chronic form of the disease can lead to liver scarring (cirrhosis) and even liver cancer, so it’s important to make sure you get a hepatitis B vaccine.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is the most dangerous form of the disease, and it is also the hardest to get. The virus spreads through infected blood, putting healthcare workers and drug users at the biggest risk. The most common way that the disease passes is through infected needles, so make sure you always use clean needles.

The dangerous thing about hepatitis C is it can be a silent killer. In many cases, people won’t show symptoms of hepatitis C until they start seeing signs of the liver damage it’s inflicted. Symptoms include jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes), bruising or bleeding easily, poor appetite, itchy skin, swelling in your legs, fatigue, and spider-like veins on your skin.

Treatments for chronic hepatitis C have significantly improved over the past several years, and these days, the condition is almost always curable. Treatments involve oral medications taken for a few months. The key is catching it before it does serious damage to your liver.

Who’s at Risk?

In most cases, hepatitis transmits through contact with infected blood. This means some of the highest risk populations are people who use injectable drugs. If you fall into this category, reach out to someone to help you get clean or always use clean needles.

Health care workers are also at risk since they handle blood from potentially infected people. Nurses who perform blood draws may be at a higher risk than healthcare workers who travel to or work in areas with poor sanitation. 

People with tattoos and piercings could also encounter infected needles. If you’re getting a tattoo or piercing, always do so at a reputable, clean location. Ask the tattooist or piercer to let you watch them open a new needle to be sure they aren’t reusing old needles. 

When to Get Tested

The most important time to get tested for hepatitis is as soon as possible after exposure. This includes after you’ve used a dirty needle, gotten a piercing or tattoo, visited an unsanitary location, or had sex with someone who has done any of the above.

If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, testing for hepatitis B is very important. Hepatitis B can pass from mother to child during childbirth, and in infants, it’s more likely to develop into a chronic condition. However, newborns can receive a vaccine against hepatitis B that will prevent infection in almost all cases. Without the vaccine, 90 percent of newborns develop chronic hepatitis.  

You should also get tested for hepatitis if you start showing any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned above. In particular, jaundice is usually a sign of liver damage, so pay attention to that. Hepatitis C may only show symptoms for a couple of weeks before fading into the background, so don’t ignore an illness because it goes away.

How Often to Get Tested

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to get tested for hepatitis if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus any time in the last six months. If you face exposure regularly for any reason, you may need to get routine testing.

The CDC recommends routine testing every six months for people who have transplanted tissue. People who use drugs, including snorting cocaine, and using other non-injectable drugs, should get tested routinely. A routine screen should also be a habit for anyone who has multiple sexual partners or a long-term sexual relationship with someone who has tested positive for hepatitis, especially hepatitis C.

If you are pregnant, a healthcare worker, or have nonsexual contact with someone with hepatitis C; you need to have routine screenings. If you are pregnant, one screening at the beginning of your pregnancy will be fine. And, of course, if you are potentially exposed or start showing symptoms, get tested immediately.

Hepatitis A Testing

If you believe you have been exposed to hepatitis A, you can get a screening done for this strain. There are two main antibodies this test checks for: IgM and IgG. The body first produces IgM antibodies about two or three weeks after infection, often before symptoms start to show up.

If any IgM antibodies show up on your screen, it means you have or have had recent acute hepatitis A. If your IgM test comes back negative, you may want to run an IgG test, as IgG antibodies show up later in the disease process and stay in your bloodstream for life. If your IgG test comes back positive, it means you have had hepatitis A at some point in the past.

It’s important to note that if you’ve ever received a hepatitis A immunization, you will have the IgG antibodies in your bloodstream since that’s how your body fights off the infection. Even if you haven’t had the immunization, you may still see those antibodies show up; about 30 percent of American adults carry IgG antibodies. In the case of IgM tests, IgG tests, and total antibody tests, which check for both antibodies, the screen will involve getting blood drawn.

Hepatitis B Testing

Hepatitis B panels look for proteins that the hepatitis virus produces in your body. They may also look for the antibodies your body produces to fight the virus or even the DNA of the virus itself. Depending on how your results come out, you can see if you currently have the virus, if you have had it in the past, or if you’ve had the immunization.

Suppose your hepatitis B surface antibody scan (Anti-HBs) comes back positive, but your core antibody total (Anti-HBc IgG IgM) comes back negative. In that case, it means you’ve had the vaccination but not the disease. If both tests come back positive, it means you’ve had the disease before and may be at risk of developing it again if your immune system is ever compromised.

If your surface antigen test (HBsAg) comes back positive, it means you currently have an active form of hepatitis B. A positive core antibody scan (Anti-HBc IgM) in combination with this result means you have an acute infection. A negative core antibody scan means your infection is chronic.

If you find out you have a chronic infection, you may choose to run a test for hepatitis B e antigens, and antibodies, as well as DNA from the hepatitis B virus. You are a disease carrier if your test comes back negative for the antigens and positive for the antibodies. You have the virus, but it’s not likely to do any liver damage. If the scan picks up on the hepatitis B virus DNA, chances are your chronic condition is causing damage to your liver. 

Hepatitis C Testing 

Hepatitis C tests look for one of two things: the antibodies your body produces to fight the virus or the RNA of the virus itself. Most of these scans look for the antibodies, with the RNA used as a backup measure. If your antibody scan is positive or inconclusive, the RNA scan can give you more information.

If your antibody test comes back negative, it can mean one of two things. Either you do not have the infection, or not enough time has passed for your body to produce detectable levels of antibodies. If you or your doctor suspects you may still have hepatitis C, you should wait a little longer and rerun the test.

If your antibody test comes back positive or indeterminate, you may run an RNA scan. If this test comes back negative, you may have had the infection in the past, but you do not have it now. If the RNA scan comes back positive, you have a current infection.

Additional Liver Testing

If any of your hepatitis screens come back positive, you’ll need to run some additional tests to determine if you have liver damage and to what extent, if so.

Your doctor may also want to look at your levels of bilirubin, albumin, and total protein. These are all connected with liver function and can fluctuate with severe liver damage.

Learn More About Hepatitis Testing

If you suspect you may have any hepatitis viruses, it’s a good idea to get a hepatitis test. Sure, hepatitis A is harmless enough, but it’s hard to tell the difference between a simple hepatitis A infection and a hepatitis C infection that can lead to serious liver damage. Hepatitis testing is the only way to know and your life is worth the investment.

If you’d like to get your hepatitis tests run, here are links to three Hepatitis tests that you can get select to get started:


Check out the rest of our site at ultalabtests.com, where we have over 2,000 lab tests, including the full spectrum of hepatitis screens available today.

We are here to help you know your health, one test at a time.