Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) core IgM antibody - serum or plasma specimen

  • Synonyms: anti-HBc IgM, Hepatitis B Virus Core IgM Antibody
  • LIS Mnemonic: HBVCOREIGM


    PREFERRED: Serum is the preferred specimen. Collect blood in a 4 ml Gold Serum Separator Tube-Clot Activator & Gel. REMARK: Plasma is an acceptable alternative specimen. Blood can be collected in

    Volume Required

    4 ml of blood

    Minimum Required

    2 ml of blood


    A total of 2-4 ml of blood (for every 2-3 Hepatitis and HIV tests ordered) should be collected. For the CHOP enterprise, submit blood specimens as soon as possible at room temperature to Central Laboratory Services. For outside clients, it is recommended that serum or plasma specimens be removed from the clot, red blood cells, or separator gel as soon as possible after collection and before shipping specimens. When shipping serum or plasma specimens, package and label specimens in complian


    Serum or plasma specimens should be stored for no longer than 3 days at room temperature or 7 days at 2-8C following specimen collection and separation from clot, red blood cells, or separator gel. If

    Unacceptable conditions

    Do not use serum or plasma specimens that are heat-inactivated, pooled, grossly hemolyzed, or contain obvious microbial contamination. Performance has not been established for the use of cadeveric specimens or the use of boody fluids other than human serum or plasma.

    Specimen Handling

    Unprocessed blood specimens should routinely be refrigerated at 4C upon arrival in the laboratory. O

Days Performed

Monday thru Friday






Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay

Disease Information


The detection of HBV core IgM is an indicator of acute infection with Hepatitis B virus (HBV); can occasionally persist at low levels during chronic infection. IgM antibody to core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) is present at the onset of acute hepatitis B infection and persists for 3-12 months before declining to indetectable levels. A positive test for IgM anti-HBc is diagnostic for acute or recent HBV infection and may be the only marker present in acutely ill neonates and patients with acute fulminant HBV infection who may not have detectable HBsAg.


The presence of HBV core IgM antibody is indicative of a recent acute infection with HBV in persons with signs and symptoms of hepatitis and in person

Reference Values

Negative or nonreactive for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) core IgM antibody

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