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Hepatitis A Virus Test

What Affects the Test

Many conditions can change anti-HAV antibodies levels. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and medical history.

Your results may need to be rechecked if you are taking some herbs or other natural products.

What To Think About

  • Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination. To learn more, see the topic Immunizations.
  • You also may be able to prevent a hepatitis A infection even after you have been exposed to the virus if you get a hepatitis A vaccination or a dose of immunoglobulin. To learn more, see the topic Hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis antibodies can take weeks or months to develop, so your results may be negative even though you have the early stages of an infection (false-negative).
  • Other tests that show how well the liver is working are usually done if your doctor thinks you may have hepatitis. These tests can include measuring levels of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase.
  • Many states require that some types of hepatitis infections be reported to the local health department. The health department can then send out a warning to other people who may have been infected with the hepatitis virus, such as those who ate food served by a person who has the infection.
  • Hepatitis A virus does not cause long-term illness, so there is no need for follow-up testing once the infection goes away.

Other Works Consulted

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as of August 30, 2012
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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