This test is used to help diagnose a liver infection due to the hepatitis A virus (HAV). There are several causes of hepatitis and the accompanying symptoms, so this test may be used to determine if the symptoms are due to hepatitis A.
Results of hepatitis testing may indicate the following:
|HAV IgM||HAV IgG or Total Antibody (IgM and IgG)||Results Indicate|
|Positive||Not Performed||Acute or recent HAV infection|
|Negative||Positive||No active infection but previous HAV exposure; has developed immunity to HAV or recently vaccinated for HAV|
|Not Performed||Positive||Has been exposed to HAV but does not rule out acute infection|
|Not Performed||Negative||No current or previous HAV infection; vaccine may be recommended if at risk|
A total antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies but does not distinguish between them.
If the total antibody test or hepatitis A IgG result is positive and someone has never been vaccinated against HAV, then the person has had past exposure to the virus. About 30% of adults over age 40 have antibodies to hepatitis A.
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