Lab Dept:


Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:



Hepatitis B Core Viral Antibody; Hepatitis B Core IgG/IgM  Antibody; Anti-HBC; HBcAb

CPT Codes:

86704 – Hepatitis B core antibody (HbcAb); total

Test Includes:

Hepatitis Bc Total (IgG and IgM combined) Antibody level.


Test Indications:

Differentiation between acute and chronic hepatitis B infection. Diagnosis of acute hepatitis B infection in the “core window” when HbsAg and anti HBs are negative. Discriminating between HbsAg-positive patients (carriers) whose acute hepatitis is due to HBV infection and those whose acute hepatitis is due to other causes. Because low titer of IgM anti-Hbc can be either absent or present in chronic HBV carriers, IgM anti-HBc assessment is not usually considered useful in diagnosing chronic active or chronic persistent hepatitis B. Not useful for demonstration of immunity to or recovery from hepatitis B viral infection.

Lab Testing Sections:

Serology - Sendouts

Referred to:

Mayo Medical Laboratories (Test: HBC)

Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

1 - 2 days, test performed daily.

Special Instructions:

This test is not offered as a screening or confirmatory test for blood donor specimens.


Specimen Type:



Red top tube

Draw Volume:

3 mL (Minimum: 1.2 mL) blood

Processed Volume:

1 mL (Minimum: 0.4 mL) serum


Routine venipuncture


Special Processing:

Lab Staff: Centrifuge specimen, remove serum/plasma from clot within 24 hours. Place serum aliquot into a screw-capped round bottom plastic vial. Store and ship at frozen temperatures. Forward promptly.

Patient Preparation:


Sample Rejection:

Specimens other than serum, hemolysis, lipemia


Reference Range:

Negative (reported as positive or negative)
Interpretation depends on clinical setting.

Critical Values:



A weakly positive anti-HBc test result unaccompanied by other hepatitis B serological markers, elevated liver enzymes, or a history of risk factors may be a false-positive result.

Performance characteristics have not been established for the following specimen characteristics: lipemia, hemolysis, specimens containing particulate matter.


Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CIA)


Mayo Medical Laboratories July 2015


4/6/2004: Test moved from Memorial Blood Center of Minneapolis to Mayo Medical Laboratories. Test is now an automatic reflex to the IgM specific Anti-HBc.
3/15/2005: Updated test method for Hepatitis Bc IgM antibody. Previously listed as Microparticle Enzyme Immunoassay (MEIA).
8/10/2005: Test no longer reflexes to Hepatitis B Core IgM Specific test when Hepatitis Bc Ab is positive. The IgM specific test must be ordered separately if desired. Note: Change in methodology previously listed as Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA).
8/26/2015: EDTA specimens no longer acceptable.