Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, University of California, San Francisco, California. Electronic address: Norah.Terrault@ucsf.edu.
Tests to detect the presence and activity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) are the cornerstones of diagnosis and management. Assays that detect or measure serum levels of HB surface antigen, HB surface antibody, and HB core antibody are used to identify patients with exposure to HBV, whereas other tests provide information on the level of virus replication, presence of specific variants, and presence of virus reservoirs. Newer diagnostic tests, used only in research settings so far, aim to quantify levels of intrahepatic HBV replication. Other tests have been developed to detect HBV infection in resource-limited settings. We review point-of-care tests (essential in global screening efforts), standard diagnostic tests used in routine clinical management, and newer tests that might be used in clinical trials of agents designed to cure HBV infection.