TEST CATALOG ORDERING & RESULTS SPECIMEN HANDLING CUSTOMER SERVICE EDUCATION & INSIGHTS
Test Catalog

Test ID: HEAG    
Hepatitis B e-Antigen and Hepatitis B e-Antibody, Serum

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Determining infectivity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers

 

Monitoring infection status of individuals with chronic hepatitis B

 

Monitoring serologic response of chronically HBV-infected patients receiving antiviral therapy

 

Determining the levels of both hepatitis B e-antigen and antibody

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg) is a small polypeptide that exists in a free form in the serum of individuals during the early phase of hepatitis B infection, soon after hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) becomes detectable. Serum levels of both HBeAg and HBsAg rise rapidly during the period of viral replication. The presence of HBeAg in serum correlates with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infectivity, the number of infectious virions, and the presence of HBV core antigen in the infected hepatocytes.

 

During recovery from acute hepatitis B, HBeAg level declines and becomes undetectable in the serum, while hepatitis B e-antibody (anti-HBe) appears and becomes detectable in the serum. Anti-HBe usually remains detectable for many years after recovery from acute HBV infection.

 

In HBV carriers and patients with chronic hepatitis B, positive HBeAg results usually indicate presence of active HBV replication and high infectivity. A negative HBeAg result indicates very minimal or no HBV replication. Positive anti-HBe results usually indicate inactivity of the virus and low infectivity. Positive anti-HBe results in the presence of detectable HBV DNA in serum also indicate active viral replication in these patients.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

HEPATITIS Be ANTIGEN

Negative

 

HEPATITIS Be ANTIBODY

Negative

 

See Viral Hepatitis Serologic Profiles in Special Instructions.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Presence of hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg) and absence of HBe antibody (anti-HBe) usually indicate active hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication and high infectivity.

 

Absence of HBeAg with appearance of anti-HBe is consistent with loss of HBV infectivity.

 

Although resolution of chronic HBV infection generally follows the appearance of anti-HBe, the HBV carrier state may persist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Biotin (vitamin B7) is a common ingredient in multivitamins and dietary supplements to enhance hair, nail, and skin growth. Biotin can interfere with the assay performance and cause possible false-negative hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg) and false-positive anti-HBe results. Patients should be instructed to stop taking such multivitamins and dietary supplements for at least 24 hours prior to blood collection.

 

Disappearance of HBeAg or appearance of anti-HBe in serum does not completely rule-out chronic hepatitis B carrier state or infectivity.

 

Performance characteristics of these 2 assays have not been established in patients under the age of 2 or in populations of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients. These 2 assays are not licensed by FDA for testing cord blood samples or screening donors of blood, plasma, human cell, or tissue products.

 

Performance characteristics have not been established for the following specimen characteristics:

-Grossly icteric (total bilirubin level of >20 mg/dL)

-Grossly lipemic (triolein level of >3,000 mg/dL)

-Grossly hemolyzed (hemoglobin level of >61 mg/dL)

-Specimen containing particulate matter

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Bonino F, Piratvisuth T, Brunetto MR, Liaw YF: Diagnostic markers of chronic hepatitis B infection and disease. Antivir Ther 2010;15(3):35-44

2. Servoss JC, Friedman LS: Serologic and molecular diagnosis of hepatitis B virus. Clin Liver Dis 2004;8:267-281

3. Terrault NA, Bzowej NH, Chang KM, et al: AASLD guidelines for treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Hepatology 2016;63:261-283

4. World Health Organization: Guidelines on hepatitis B and C testing. Geneva 2017. Available at http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254621/1/9789241549981-eng.pdf?ua=1

Special Instructions Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test