Do I need to take further test to confirm Hepatitis B?
Q: I am a 31 years old man and recently got a blood test done in which hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) critical value came as 0.36% and patient value came as 0.79%. But I have no symptoms of Hbs Ag. Do I need further testing or may have Hbs Ag with no symptoms?
A:Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) is a protein that is produced by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Its presence is one of the earliest signs of hepatitis B infection. Its persistence in the blood is suggestive of chronic hepatitis B infection because it disappears as a patient recovers from the disease. Such persistence of HBs Ag is called a carrier state as the individual can infect others while exhibiting minimal or no symptoms. The test needs to be interpreted in the light of patient’s symptoms and along with other tests like hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs), hepatitis B e-antigen (HBe Ag), anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and HBV DNA. Please discuss this with your doctor and dont neglect it.