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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Hepatitis B Virus Tests
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Hepatitis B tests are blood tests that show whether you have an active hepatitis B infection. The tests can also show if you had the infection in the past.
The tests look for different signs of infection:
Hepatitis antibodies can take weeks or months to develop. So an infected person may test negative early in the infection.
The most common tests are:
These tests are not done as often:
Hepatitis B testing is done to:
You don't need to do anything special to prepare for this test.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the need for the test, its risks, or how it will be done. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form .
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken.
Hepatitis B antibodies and/or antigens are found. More tests may be needed to see if you have an acute or chronic infection.
Hepatitis D antibodies are found. You have hepatitis D.
Your doctor will talk with you about anything that might keep you from having the test or that may change the test results.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Current as of:
February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineW. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
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