Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) antibodies - serum

Last updated: Tuesday, 23, March, 2004

MBS Online Search Page: Click here for details

Item Process
Specimen

5-10 mL blood in plain tube.

Method

Immunoassay.

Application

Acute hepatitis or exacerbation of hepatitis in known hepatitis B (HBsAg positive) carrier.

The test should only be performed in patients known to be HBsAg positive.

Interpretation

The diagnosis of delta hepatitis is dependent on the detection of HBsAg and anti-HDV in serum. Rising titres of anti-HDV suggest acute infection and continuing high titres are consistent with chronic infection.

The diagnosis can be confirmed by detecting HDV antigen or HDV RNA in serum or liver biopsy (specialised laboratory).

Over 70% of patients with HDV superinfection develop chronic hepatitis. IgM anti-HDV persists in chronic delta hepatitis and the test is not useful for the diagnosis of acute infection.

HDV has a restricted geographical distribution with a high prevalence in HBV carriers from the Amazon basin of South America, central Africa, southern Italy and the Middle East, but not in HBV carriers from China and Southeast Asia.

Reference

Modahl LE and Lai MMC. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2000; 37: 45-92.