This test is used to look for the presence of Hepatitis B (Hep B) viral genetic material in the blood. The results for this test are qualitative, meaning they provide either a positive or negative result. Because Viral DNA is often detectable sooner than antibodies developed in response to an infection, Hep B PCR testing can be used as a screening for patients who have had a recent exposure. This test can also be used as a confirmatory test for a previous positive result.
Hepatitis B is a viral liver infection which is spread through exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids. It is the most common cause of acute viral Hepatitis. Hepatitis B infections often show no symptoms but when symptoms do occur they are often described as flu-like. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, joint pain, fatigue, jaundice, and dark colored urine. Chronic Hep B infections can cause serious health complications like Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer.
This test is typically ordered by patients:
· Who wish to screen for Hepatitis B but may not yet be at a point after exposure where a Hep B surface Antigen test will be accurate.
· Require a highly sensitive test to confirm the results of a previous Hepatitis B test.
Results for this test are qualitative. Patients who require a numerical measurement of their viral levels may order the Hepatitis B PCR Quantitative test. Patients who wish to order a Hepatitis B screening but do not require an early exposure test should consider the Hepatitis B surface Antigen Test or the Hepatitis B Panel.
Turnaround time for the Hepatitis B PCR Qualitative test is typically up to 7 business days
The Hepatitis B PCR test can typically detect the virus after a few weeks after a suspected contact or exposure. Some people may be detectable earlier.
This Hepatitis B testing does not have any special requirements.