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Hepatitis B, Acute
2012 Case Definition

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 11-ID-03

Clinical Description

An acute illness with a discrete onset of any sign or symptom* consistent with acute viral hepatitis (e.g., fever, headache, malaise, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain), and either a) jaundice, or b) elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels >100 IU/L.

*A documented negative hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) laboratory test result within 6 months prior to a positive test (either HBsAg, hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg), or hepatitis B virus nucleic acid testing (HBV NAT) including genotype) result does not require an acute clinical presentation to meet the surveillance case definition.

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

  • HBsAg positive, AND
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) positive (if done)

Case Classification


A case that meets the clinical case definition, is laboratory confirmed, and is not known to have chronic hepatitis B.