Acute hepatitis may be caused by viral infection, non-viral infection, or non-infectious causes. Hepatitis A is transmitted by the oral-fecal route, while hepatitis B & hepatitis C are primarily borne by blood and other body fluids. While all three viruses can cause acute viral hepatitis, only B & C can progress to a chronic infection.
Limitations: • The results determined by different assays from different manufacturers can vary due to differences in assay specificities and cannot be used interchangeably. • For other limitations consult individual test reference assay entries.
1. Hepatitis A a. Reactive hepatitis A IgM antibody AND reactive hepatitis A total antibody is indicative of acute infection. b. Reactive hepatitis A total antibody AND non-reactive hepatitis A IgM antibody is indicative of past, resolved infection. c. A non-reactive hepatitis A total antibody result indicates probable susceptibility to hepatitis A infection. d. A reactive hepatitis A total antibody result indicates probable immunity to infection/reinfection; however, this assay does not have FDA clearance for confirmation of immunity, whether by natural infection or vaccination.
2. Hepatitis B a. Hepatitis B surface antibody can be measured to determine if vaccination is needed or, following a vaccination regimen, to determine if protective immunity has been achieved.
Diagnostic interpretations are as follows:
3. Hepatitis C a. Reactive hepatitis C antibody indicates either acute or chronic hepatitis C infection. The Hepatitis C Virus RNA, Quantitative test (test code HCVQT) may be used to detect ongoing viral replication. Immune status cannot be determined with this assay.