5 Uncommon Signs of Hepatitis B

A positive HBsAg test result means that the person is infected with hepatitis B. This test detects the presence of the hepatitis B virus' surface antigen in the blood.
Hepatitis B test
HT Brand Studio Published: 26 Jun 2024, 02:41 pm IST
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Hepatitis B is a viral infection that targets the liver, causing inflammation in its tissues. Initially, it manifests as a short-term acute infection. However, in some individuals, it can develop into a chronic condition that persists indefinitely. This prolonged inflammation can severely damage the liver over time, potentially leading to cirrhosis and liver failure. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to reducing the risk of severe liver disease and preventing the spread of the infection to others. The HBsAg test, a blood test, plays a key role in the timely diagnosis of hepatitis B, enabling the initiation of appropriate treatment. Continue reading to learn more about hepatitis B as well as HBsAg test price and importance.

Common Symptoms of Hepatitis B

When you are initially exposed to the hepatitis virus, you may experience acute (short-term) symptoms within the first few weeks of infection. These symptoms can sometimes persist for up to six months but are generally mild. They include:

  • Abdominal pain on the right side of the stomach
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • General feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • Lighter-than-normal stool colour
  • Darker-than-normal urine colour

5 Uncommon Signs of Hepatitis B

Although it is rare, acute hepatitis B can spread and cause inflammation or damage to other organs in your body. If left untreated, you may be at risk of developing conditions such as:

  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the heart’s membrane)
  • Neuroinflammation (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs)
  • Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

How Does HBsAg Test Help Diagnose Hepatitis B?

Similar to other viruses, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) has antigens on its surface. These antigens are molecular structures that the immune system uses to identify the virus. Therefore, an antigen test can detect the presence of HBV, indicating an infection. The HBsAg test is the primary method for diagnosing an acute or active HBV infection. Health experts often recommend an HBsAg test as part of hepatitis B screening. HBsAg typically appears about 2–10 weeks after infection and can be detectable for up to 6 months, making it useful for identifying acute HBV infections. However, HBsAg can also be present in cases of chronic hepatitis B. Thus, a positive HBsAg test indicates an HBV infection. The HBsAg test price at Apollo 24|7 is ₹780.

What Do HBsAg Test Results Mean?

A positive HBsAg test result indicates an HBV infection. If someone tests positive for HBsAg, then he/she should consult a doctor for further evaluation. The results of other tests in the hepatitis B panel will help determine whether the infection is acute or chronic. A positive HBsAg result means the person can transmit the virus to others.

If the HBsAg test is negative, then the other panel test results will guide the next steps. For instance, if a person tests negative for all the panel tests, then it indicates he/she is not immune to HBV and is at risk for future infections. Therefore, he/she should receive a hepatitis B vaccine. Other panel results may show that a person is immune and cannot transmit HBV, or the results may be inconclusive, necessitating a repeat of the panel test.

Conclusion

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can cause serious liver issues. Timely diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment and recovery. To determine if a person has a hepatitis B infection, a healthcare provider can perform a blood panel test. This test involves a laboratory technician checking a blood sample for hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg), which are proteins found in the hepatitis B virus. A positive HBsAg test result indicates that the person has a hepatitis B infection.

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