Glossary of Terms
- acute infection
acute infection occurs in the first 6 months of a person’s exposure to the
hepatitis B virus.
test is used as a liver tumor marker for patients with chronic hepatitis
B. Patients should have their AFP levels monitored routinely since high
levels could indicate the possibility of liver cancer.
algorithm is a step-by-step protocol for managing health-care
levels may indicate the development of liver cancer, which is why the
simple AFP blood test is included in the regular monitoring of those which
is a test that is used to evaluate the function of the liver. ALT is an
enzyme that is released into the blood by damaged liver cells. It is used
as a marker for liver cell damage.
hepatitis B surface antibody (HbsAb) indicates that a person is immune to
the virus. A person can develop these antibodies in response to the
vaccine or when they recover from a hepatitis B infection.
type of drug that interferes with the ability of a virus to replicate in
the human body. Lamivudine and adefovir are two clinically-approved
antiviral treatments for chronic hepatitis B.
- Neither causing nor exhibiting symptoms
liver biopsy involves taking a small piece of tissue from the liver to
examine under the microscope. It is used to detect potential liver damage
caused by chronic hepatitis B infections.
are people who have the hepatitis B virus in their blood for longer than 6
months, also known as chronic hepatitis B.
- chronic hepatitis B
a person tests positive for the hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) for more than 6
months, then they are diagnosed as being chronically infected. They are at
increased risk for developing cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.
of the liver that can result in the loss of liver cells and impaired liver
- clinical trial
trials are used to test the safety and efficacy of a drug before it can be
approved by the FDA. Please go to http://www.hepb.org/02-0143.hepb for
hepatitis B drugs that are currently in clinical trial.
- DNA level
amount of hepatitis B DNA in your blood can give an indication of how
active the virus is in your body. This test can be used to help determine
whether a person with chronic hepatitis B should start treatment.
- e-antibody positive and e-antigen negative
hepatitis e-antigen test result can indicate reduced viral replication (or
inactive liver disease), and signals complete e-antigen
is the branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes,
distribution, and control of disease in populations.
- HBV DNA
- HBV DNA
is a marker of viral replication and level of infectivity. It is used to
assess and monitor the treatment of patients with chronic HBV
- hepatitis A
- Hepatitis A is an
acute, vaccine-preventable viral infection mainly spread via feces and
contaminated food and water.
- Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG)
as a shot, HBIG contains antibodies to hepatitis B virus; it offers prompt
protection that lasts up to three months, and is often used if an
unvaccinated individual is exposed to hepatitis B.
- hepatitis B vaccination
is a safe and effective vaccine for hepatitis B that can protect you for a
lifetime from getting infected with the hepatitis B virus. For more
information, go to www.hepb.org/hepb/vaccine_information.htm.
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- Liver cancer.
B is transmitted through blood and infectious bodily fluids. High-risk
avenues of infection include direct blood-to-blood contact, unprotected
sex, and childbirth (when the virus can be transmitted from a mother to
her baby). For a more complete list of high-risk groups and activities,
please go to www.hepb.org/professionals/high-risk_groups.htm.
- imaging studies
and CT Scan are used as part of the screening process for liver
- immune modulator
is a type of drug that alters the immune system. Interferon is the
FDA-approved immune modulator for treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
number of new cases of a condition, symptom, death, or injury that arise
during a specific period of time (e.g. a year).
- liver biopsies
small piece of tissue is removed from the liver and examined under a
microscope to look for the presence of inflammation or liver
- liver specialist
specialists generally practice as either "hepatologists" or
"gastroenterologists". To find a liver specialist near you, please visit
the HBF Liver Specialist Directory at www.hepb.org/resources/liver_specialist_directory.htm.
- perinatal infection
hepatitis B virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her child during
the childbirth process.
percentage of a population that is affected with a particular disease at a
- prevalence rates
rates are total number of cases of a disease in a given population at a
- referral physician
- Liver specialists
generally practice as hepatologists or gastroenterologists.
- serial blood work
- The analysis of several blood
tests over time may help determine hepatitis B status.
hepatitis B e-Antigen test is frequently used to monitor the effectiveness
of current hepatitis B therapies. The goal is for a patient to seroconvert
from a positive to negative e-antigen.
- Interferons are given by