Hepatitis B DNA Viral Load PCR Blood Test measures the amount of Hepatitis B viral load or Hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV DNA) levels in the blood of chronically infected patients. This test helps to distinguish active from an inactive infection in Hepatitis B chronic infected individuals. It also helps to monitor and evaluate the treatment response in individuals receiving anti-viral treatment. The PCR technique is highly accurate as compared to other tests.
Hepatitis B infection is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This is one type among the other types of viral hepatitis. This infection can spread from one person to another through contact with infected blood and body fluids. Common symptoms of this infection are dark urine, fatigue, fever, abdominal discomfort, weakness, loss of appetite, yellowing of eyes, joint and muscle pain. Symptoms usually appear about one to four months after the occurrence of infection.
Normally in most of the cases, this infection does not last for a long time. Your immune system fights it off within a few months. However, if you have it for more than six months, you are called a carrier. Mostly, adults may recover from this infection fully within a short period of time. Infants and children are more likely to develop a long-lasting infection.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus that causes Hepatitis B infection. It belongs to the Hepadnavirus family. HBV contains an outer envelope and an inner core. The outer envelope contains a surface protein called the hepatitis B surface antigen or (HBsAg). The inner core is a protein shell known as the hepatitis B core antigen or (HBcAg). This antigen is consist of hepatitis B virus DNA and enzymes needed for the multiplication of the HBV.
The HBV enters the liver cell of the individuals and is transported into the nucleus of the liver cell. Once it reaches inside the nucleus, the viral DNA is released and replication starts. The virus starts multiplying in the liver cells and this leads to severe infection.
The presence of HBV DNA levels is normally detected in blood by 30 days following infection. It is a reliable marker of active HBV replication (copying).
This test is performed to distinguish active from an inactive HBV infection. This test is also recommended in individuals receiving treatment for Hepatitis B infection to monitor and evaluate the treatment response. This helps to know whether there the treatment is working to reduce your viral load. This test helps to differentiate between the active and inactive disease states in chronic HBV infection. This test is correlated with other HBV tests and liver function tests to determine an appropriate treatment.
Contaminated blood samples may give false positive results. In such cases, it is recommended to do a new sample collection and repeat the test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your HBV DNA Viral load. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for HBV DNA Viral load.
No specific preparation is required for this test.
The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, health conditions, and stage of infection.
If the test results show high Hepatitis B viral load levels than normal range and signs of liver damage it may indicate that you are at an active stage of Hepatitis B infection (replicative) and need treatment.
If undetectable or low viral loads and no signs of liver damage, it may indicate that you are at an inactive stage of Hepatitis B infection (nonreplicative).
In individuals receiving treatment for hepatitis infection presence of high viral loads indicates a poor response to treatment.
In pregnant women with high viral loads may indicate a need for treatment during their third trimester of pregnancy to reduce the risk of infection in newborns.
In individuals receiving treatment for hepatitis infection, if the blood sample does not contain Hepatitis B viral load or significant low levels it may indicate a more likely or likely response to treatment.
|UNISEX||All age groups||>20000 IU/ml indicates virus is active|