What Does a Positive Result Indicate in a Hepatitis B Core Test?

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A positive or reactive test result for the hepatitis B core antibody test indicates a past or present infection, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation. False positives are also possible with this test.

The interpretation of the test depends on the results of the two other tests that make up the hepatitis B blood panel: the hepatitis B surface antigen and the hepatitis B surface antibody. A positive result with the protective surface antibody denotes prior infection and recovery, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation. A positive result with a hepatitis B surface antigen occurs when a patient is chronically affected with the disease.