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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Hepatitis B Core Ab, Total

Test Code(s): AHBC / HBCAB

CPT Code(s): 86704

Methodology: Chemiluminescent Immunoassay

Clinical Significance: Detects total (IgG plus IgM) antibody to hepatitis B core antigen.

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, dayshift.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Next working day.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Blood

Collection Container: Preferred: Red cap with yellow ring (SST)
Also Acceptable: Red top

Collection Volume: Preferred: 3 mL
Pediatrics: 1.5 mL

Sample Analyzed: Serum

Volume Required: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.5 mL

Specimen Processing: Centrifuge.  If complete barrier has not formed, transfer cell-free serum to plastic vial.  Refrigerate.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220). Transport with coolant pack if coming from outreach location.

Stability: Ambient: 12 hours
Refrigerated: 7 days
Frozen: okay


Interpretive Guidelines:

Nonreactive:  No antibody to hepatitis B core antigen detected.


Reactive:  Antibody to hepatitis B core antigen may be present in active infection, the window period, chronic carriage or recovery.  Please consider ordering the test hepatitis B core antibody IgM which is negative in chronic carriers. Hepatitis B Core, IgM can be ordered as an add-on test to the stored sample for a period 6 days from the collection time of this sample. After that time, a new specimen will be required.


Interpretation of Hepatitis B Result.pdf


Test Limitations:

This method is approved for diagnostic testing only.  It is not approved for screening tissue donors that fall under FDA's HCT/P requirements.


The assay performance characteristics have not been established for immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients, newborns, infants or children, cord blood, neonatal specimens, cadaver specimens, heat inactivated specimens and body fluids other than serum.

Additional Information:

If HBcAb and HBsAg are positive with a negative HBsAb, a Hepatitis B Core Ab IgM is recommended.  If HBsAb and HBsAg are negative with a positive HBcAb, then Hepatitis B Viral DNA testing may aid in the interpretation of results.

Hep B

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