New Guidance for Prenatal HBsAg Tests Available at Commercial Laboratories
Chronic hepatitis B is a liver infection that can cause serious health issues such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Because chronic hepatitis B can be transmitted from mother to baby at birth, it’s crucial to identify pregnant women who are HBsAg-positive (hepatitis B infected) and administer timely post-exposure prophylaxis for their infants to prevent perinatal hepatitis B infection and chronic hepatitis in infancy.
While HBsAg-positive tests are reportable to public health in all states, pregnancy status is rarely reported. To address this issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners from health departments, commercial laboratories, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other professional organizations have worked together to include pregnancy status in laboratory test reports sent to health departments. To improve identification of HBsAg-positive pregnant women, these efforts were guided by recommendations of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).
Four major commercial laboratories are participating in this effort: ARUP Laboratories, LabCorp, Mayo Medical Laboratories, and Quest Diagnostics. Each laboratory now offers designated HBsAg tests for pregnant women as a standalone assay and/or as part of a prenatal/obstetric panel to facilitate reporting HBsAg-positive women to health departments. The table below provides a summary of the available prenatal HBsAg tests.
Please consider ordering a “prenatal” HBsAg screening test for a pregnant or postpartum patient from ARUP Laboratories, LabCorp, Mayo Medical Laboratories, or Quest Diagnostics. This will help to boost physician and hospital uptake of the designated prenantal HBsAg tests from these laboratories. Doing so will play an important role in ensuring the timely identification and confirmatory testing for HBsAg-positive pregnant women and ultimately improvinis dependent on physician and hospital uptake of the designated prenatal HBsAg tests ordered from these laboratories.