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The Persistence of Hepatitis A IgM Antibody After Acute Clinical Hepatitis A

Authors

  • Henry W. Kao,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Southern California, Division of Hepatobgy, USC School of Medicine and The Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, California 90242
    Current affiliation:
    1. Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Gastroenterology Division, C-1 Trailer, 1000 West Carson Street, Torrance, California 90509
    • Henry W. Kao, M.D., Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Gastroenterology Division, C-l Trailer, 1000 West Carson Street, Torrance, California 90509.
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  • Mary Ashcavai,

    1. University of Southern California, Division of Hepatobgy, USC School of Medicine and The Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, California 90242
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  • Allan G. Redeker

    1. University of Southern California, Division of Hepatobgy, USC School of Medicine and The Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, California 90242
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  • This work was presented in part at the meeting of the Western Society for Clinical Research, Carmel, California, in February, 1982 (Clin. Res. 1982; 30:92, Abstract)

Abstract

Hepatitis A IgM antibody (IgM anti-HAV), detected by commercially available solid-phase radioimmunoassay, is an accepted marker of acute viral hepatitis A infection. However, persistence of this serological marker far beyond the acute illness and immediate convalescent period has been reported. To determine the persistence of IgM anti-HAV following clinically manifest acute hepatitis A infection, 59 patients with this diagnosis were followed prospectively until this marker disappeared or persisted for greater than 60 days. Timed from the onset of jaundice, IgM anti-HAV persisted for less than 30 to greater than 420 days; most patients became seronegative by 120 days. These findings suggest that some patients may become seronegative early in the disease course while others (13.5%) remain positive for prolonged periods greater than 200 days. Awareness of this marked variability is important in the interpretation of IgM anti-HAV as a serologic marker of recent hepatitis A infection.

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