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HCM is Hepatitis B Core IgM

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The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is most frequently used to screen for the presence of this infection. It is the first detectable viral antigen to appear during infection. However, early in an infection, this antigen may not be present and it may be undetectable later in the infection as it is being cleared by the host. The infectious virion contains an inner "core particle" enclosing viral genome. The icosahedral core particle is made of 180 or 240 copies of core protein, alternatively known as hepatitis B core antigen, or HBcAg. During this 'window' in which the host remains infected but is successfully clearing the virus, IgM antibodies to the hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc IgM) may be the only serological evidence of disease. Therefore most hepatitis B diagnostic panels contain HBsAg and total anti-HBc(both IgM and IgG).

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Awaiting result:

One day

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Collect material:

Blood

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Prepare:

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Purpose of the test

The Hepatitis B Core Antibody test is designed to detect the presence of antibodies called IgM in the blood. These antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to the core of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) during the active stage of infection. The presence of these antibodies indicates an active HBV infection. The test helps in distinguishing between individuals who have been infected with HBV and those who have been vaccinated against it, as the latter will not have the core antibody in their blood.

Who Should Get Tested

Individuals who exhibit symptoms of hepatitis B or have a history that puts them at risk for exposure to the virus should be tested. Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fever, jaundice, dark-colored urine, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, swelling and confusion. Risk factors include having sexual contact with an infected person, living in close proximity to someone with the virus, sharing needles for drug use, working in healthcare settings with exposure to blood, and receiving blood transfusions or organ transplants.

Blood Test Preparation Guidelines
Time of day
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It is recommended to schedule your appointment for blood tests in the morning hours between 7:00-10:00.
Fasting
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It is recommended to fast for approximately 12 hours before blood sampling. The last meal of the previous day should ideally be consumed around 6:00 p.m. On the day before the test, avoid heavy and fatty meals as well as alcohol.
Stay hydrated
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Drinking water prior to testing can help with sample collection.
Other factors
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Tests should not be performed after a sleepless night or intense physical activity. It is recommended to avoid exercise and stress immediately before blood collection and to not smoke. A short rest is recommended.
Medications and supplements:
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Blood samples should be collected before the morning dose. Some drugs can interfere with test results. Consult with your doctor whether you can delay your dose because of lab tests.
Biotin supplements:
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High doses of biotin supplements can affect test results, causing false elevation or reduction. It's recommended to avoid taking biotin for at least 72 hours before blood collection. If you are taking biotin, inform the personnel collecting the blood so that they can provide specific instructions.
Interpreting Test Results

A negative or nonreactive result indicates that no hepatitis B core IgM antibodies were found, suggesting no active HBV infection. A positive or reactive result signifies an active HBV infection. In most cases, a positive result means the individual will recover within six months. However, if the infection persists beyond this period, it may lead to chronic conditions, and medical intervention might be necessary.

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