Hepatitis B (Quantitative + Genotype ) PCR
Hepatitis B quantitative PCR is a test used to determine the active phase of hepatitis B viral infection in the patient’s body. During the active stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and the DNA levels can be detectable within a month after infection. The DNA levels elevate gradually and reach to peak levels in acute hepatitis – but when the infection subsides, the levels decline and ultimately disappear altogether. Therefore, hepatitis B virus DNA testing helps in the diagnosis of acute hepatitis B infection – even before the HBsAg appears in the blood.
Why is the test ordered?
The test is ordered to detect and diagnose cases of early acute infection even before the HBsAg appears in the bloodstream. In addition, the test also differentiates acute and inactive infection and acts as a helpful tool in monitoring antiviral therapy.
When is the test ordered?
The determination of active chronic stage infection is essential as the patients with chronic active hepatitis B virus are at an increased risk of developing liver cirrhosis. Therefore, hepatitis B PCR, which is a DNA test, is recommended by physicians to differentiate between the inactive and active status of infection in the individual undergoing the test. The test confirms a chronic hepatitis B infection and helps in monitoring the progress of chronic infection.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparation is required for this test.