Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Lab Values

Join NURSING.com to watch the full lesson now.

Included In This Lesson



Demonstrate understanding of Hepatitis B lab value and its use in clinical practice.


Lab Test name:

Hepatitis B Virus



Measuring antibodies present in a client’s system 

  • to determine therapeutic response to vaccination
  • presence of immune response in cases of infection transmission.



Screened and evaluated in persons with/who are:

  • Evaluation of effectiveness of vaccination
  • known exposure to HBV
  • pregnant women 
  • infants born to HBV+ mothers
  • immunosuppressed clients
  • donors
  • People from countries with high prevalence of HBV
  • HIV+
  • HCV+
  • IV drug users (past or present)
  • risky sexual habits
  • Incarcerated individuals


Normal Therapeutic Values

Surface Antibody Test

<10.00 IU/L 

Negative – Considered unprotected


>12.00 IU/L

Positive – Protected



Serum separator tube


What would cause increased levels?

Covered in Normal Therapeutic Values


What would cause decreased levels?

Covered in Normal Therapeutic Values

Join NURSING.com to watch the full lesson now.


Hey everyone. I’m Abby and I’m here with nursing.com to talk to you about a lab value for hepatitis B. It’s the surface antibody test. Let’s get started. The surface antibody test for hepatitis B virus measures the amount of antibodies present in the system, not the amount of virus. This is an antibody test. Now, this is used in evaluation to see how effective the vaccine was. It’s typically given in a series. It also helps to monitor whether those antibodies have created immunity from an active infection. Now, speaking of vaccines, did you get loaded up before nursing school? I sure did. Now, when would you think this would be indicated? What populations tend to suffer with a lot of hepatitis B? It’s passed through bodily fluids. Let’s take a look as mentione; it’s screened for evaluation of vaccination. We would also take this test if there was a known exposure. It’s also very routine in pregnant women and especially important in those that might be immunocompromised because they can’t mount an immune response. Therefore the hepatitis could actually take over and take hold. Now there could even be a transmission through IV drug use since it is passed through bodily fluids. Now, some patients we would be particularly concerned with would be patients that are HIV positive and Hep C positive.


And those again that might be taking medications or have other conditions that are dampening their immune system. Lab results are either negative or positive. If it’s negative, you are considered unprotected. There are not enough antibodies to protect you. Should you have exposure to the virus; if it’s positive, you are protected. This is taken by a titer. You may have had titres taken after receiving a series of vaccinations. This lab is collected in a serum separator tube or a gold top. Our linchpins for this lesson are that this test for the surface antibodies. So the number of antibodies against the virus, not the Hep B virus itself. If your result is negative, you’re unprotected. Your body won’t have those antibodies to be able to fight off the virus effectively as if you were protected or vaccinated or had already previously been exposed. Vaccination is incredibly important.


It’s especially important for those that are high risk. So those would be patients that are immunocompromised. Let’s not forget our HIV positive patients. Those that already are suffering with hepatitis C. This could even be those that maybe have risky sexual practice or our IV drug users. They need to be vaccinated and need to be monitored to ensure that infection doesn’t take hold. You did great on this lesson, everybody. You can do this. Now it wraps up our lesson on hepatitis B surface and to surface antibody test. Now go out and be your best self today and is always happy nursing.




Join NURSING.com to watch the full lesson now.