This test is used to find out the Hepatitis A antibodies-IgM in the blood.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and can lead to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis can be caused due to auto-immune diseases, alcohol or toxic substances. When a person is exposed to Hepatitis A Virus HAV, the body produces hepatitis A IgM antibodies. These antibodies develop 2 to 3 weeks after first being infected (and are detectable before the onset of symptoms) and lasts for about 3 to 6 months. Hepatitis A IgG antibodies are produced within 1 to 2 weeks of the IgM antibodies and usually persist for life.
Hepatitis A Antibodies are the antibodies produced by the immune system to fight the hepatitis A virus. Antibodies are the protective proteins produced by the immune system and also known as immunoglobulins. Antibodies are produced when any foreign substance or virus or bacteria enters into the body. These foreign substances are known as antigens. Antibodies recognize and attach to the antigens in order to remove them from the body. There are five (5) subtypes of antibodies and they are IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, IgE.
IgG provides long-term protection as it presents in the circulation for long period after the presence of an antigen. IgM enhances the ingestion of cells by phagocytosis. IgA is also the first defense for intestine, lungs, and nose. They bind antigens to the microbes before they invade tissues and keeps antigens in secretion and when secretion is expelled, antigens are also expelled. IgD helps in the induction of antibody production and presents on the surface of B-cells. IgE binds to the basophils and mast cells.
This test is performed to check the presence of Hepatitis A Antibodies IgM in the blood. The doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you are suffering from symptoms such as abdominal pain, joint pains, muscle pains, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, yellow skin and eyes, itching, dark urine etc. If an individual is on the treatment for Hepatitis A virus HAV then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and Hepatitis A Antibodies IgM levels in the blood. Mostly, this test is done along with other hepatitis antibody tests to confirm the diagnosis.
This test should be done after 15-45 days of infection. If you have been diagnosed with HAV, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once in a year based on your clinical condition. If you are a healthy individual above the age of 35, your doctor may advise you to undergo this test either on a yearly basis or every other year.
Some medications may change the levels of IgM in the blood and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test. Rheumatoid factor can give rise to false positive results.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your HAV Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for HAV Test.
There are no specific preparations required for this test.
If the test results are negative it may indicate that there is no Hepatitis A Antibodies IgM in the blood and no infection of Hepatitis A Virus HAV.
In case the test results are positive it may indicate that there are Hepatitis A Antibodies IgM in the blood and an acute infection of Hepatitis A Virus HAV.
|All age groups
|The antibodies are not normally present. Presence of IgM indicates acute infection