Hepatitis B DNA Viral Load

Quantitative TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in EDTA plasma. HBV detection and quantification now plays a key role in the diagnosis of infection, therapeutic decision-making, and assessment of the response to therapy. For testing advice or URGENT testing, please contact GSTT on-call Infection StR via the hospital switchboard. This assay is available routinely Tues and Thurs.
This test is not UKAS accredited.
Clinical details: 
Determining the Hepatitis B viral load is important in the assessment of chronic Hepatitis B to understand the risk of disease activity, onwards transmission (particularly in pregnancy) and in monitoring response to therapy. It may also be needed in cases of “past resolved” Hepatitis B prior to receipt of immunosuppressantdrugs to determine the risk of Hepatitis B reactivation.
Reference range: 

20 to 170,000,000 IU/mL

International units per millilitre (IU/mL)
Sample type and Volume required: 
4-9ml Purple Top EDTA blood (for whole blood or plasma). If insufficient plasma available 2.5 – 5ml Yellow Top Serum Separation Tube (SST) Clotted Blood (for serum) may be used. Note: If using Electronic Patient Record (EPR) please order "Hepatitis B Viral Load (Roche)".
Turnaround time: 
7 working days (1 - 2 days for urgent samples)
Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Samples should be sent to CSR promptly as the sensitivity of assays that detect RNA/DNA depend on sample quality/integrity. Please store samples in a refrigerator if there is a delay in sending samples to CSR.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 21/07/2021