Hepatitis B Core Antibody Total Blood Test

Hepatitis B Core Antibody Total Blood Test

Quick Overview

Used to find out if you are infected with the hepatitis B virus.

Test #006718

$81.00

Availability: In stock

Also Known As Anti-HBc; Antibody to Hepatitis B Core Antigen; HBcAb Total
Preparation No fasting required. Stop biotin consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection.
Test Results 2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

The hepatitis B core antibody is produced by your immune system after infection by the hepatitis B virus, and it can persist for life. It is a sign that you either have an active (acute) hepatitis B infection or that you have had hepatitis B in the past. It is an immune system response to a protein in the core of the virus, and it is only present if you have been infected, rather than immunized.

You may need this test it is suspected you have a liver infection caused by HBV. You may also need this test if you have symptoms of hepatitis B. Symptoms usually start slowly. Many people have no symptoms or only feel like they have a mild case of the flu. You may not have symptoms until the infection is chronic or severe.

The most common symptom is extreme tiredness. Other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea

  • Loss of appetite

  • Muscle aches

  • Fever

  • Jaundice, or yellowed skin and eyes

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Belly (abdominal) pain

  • Swelling and confusion. This is in extreme cases.

You may also have this test if you have a history that puts you at risk for being in contact with the virus. Risk factors for hepatitis B infection include:

  • Having sex with someone infected with the virus

  • Living in close contact with someone who has the virus

  • Being a man who has sex with men

  • Being a child born to a mother who has the virus

  • Sharing needles for intravenous, or IV, drug use

  • Working in a healthcare center where you are exposed to blood

  • Getting a blood transfusion or organ transplant. This is less common with active screening.

It can take 60 to 150 days to develop symptoms of hepatitis B after you become infected. Hepatitis B core IgM antibodies begin to appear in your blood several weeks after you are first infected with HBV. People who have had the hepatitis B vaccine will not have the core antibody in their blood.

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