HBN DNA - Undetected Vs Detected <10IU/ML


I need help to understand the difference between detected and undetected DNA when both results show DNA <10.
As you can see pic below’ my result June 2023 was undetected, and This month it says detected but <10 ML… please let me know difference between two results… Does it mean that my DNA was zero in June and now between 0 and 10?

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What does “Show More” say?

Here is

Hi @Nass,
Here is my understanding of HBV DNA/Viral load. The lab range for measuring the viral load is between 10 and 1 billion. In an undetected test, what that means is that the amount is less than 10 and cannot be measured per the test. It does not necessarily mean that your viral load is 0. The viral load will always be detected except the amount in the blood at a given time to be measured when it falls under 10 will be shown as undetectable. It can only be 0 if the infection is resolved. In your test, what I think they are saying is they detected the HBV DNA viral load but it is less than 10 to be measured (which is <10). The log/Iu is just another way of expressing the same result of <10. If you read your test where it says “show more” at the top it reads “HBV DNA was detected below 10 IU/ml”. Meaning your HBV DNA was detected but the amount of viral load in your blood was less than 10 to be measured. This is good actually.

I hope this helps. Thanks, Bansah1.


And “Show More” for the text on top? “Viral nucleic acid detected below this level …”?

Thanks @Bansah1
What confuses me is… my June test said… undetected… and latest test is says detected… but both less than 10iu/ml… I thought anything less than 10 is considered undetectable!!

Yes, your viral load is undetectable (for the amount of viral load in your blood at the time of test). But not the actual HBV DNA. Once a chronic person, HBV DNA will always be detected, what will fluctuate is whether the amount of viral load in the blood is measurable or not. In your case the HBV DNA was detected, but the viral load was less to be measured. So you are detectable for HBV DNA but undetectable for HBV Viral load (which shows how much viral DNA is in your blood). Your June test was <10, but they just did not say anything about whether it was detectable or not. Like I mentioned in my previous message, this is a good thing. Many people on treatment for chronic hepatitis B will have the same results at some point (I do). HBV viral load can only be 0 if one’s infection is resolved. Different labs will do different things. These things can be confusing at times. Best, Bansah1.

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@Bansah1 Thank you very much!!

My June test … see below…

HBV DNA was undetectable… is it typical to have this mismatched results …?

Does it mean reactivation since later test detected HBV DNA?

Thanks for your time!

Is your infection chronic or acute?

The test uses the same name or terms interchangeable to find out whether HBV DNA or HBV viral load is present or not and how much viral particles is in your blood. If you still have trouble with this please reach out to your provider for further explanations. Thanks, Bansah1.

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Chronic. Thanks for your response… I guess both labs are showing same results

You are correct. Let’s see what it shows the next time you get labs done.

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Mine does that also and my hepatologist says either way is considered the same. He said it’s only a difference if DNA starts going up above 10, which usually does not happen with newer antivirals.


Hi all,

Just to highlight that this has been discussed in previous threads: Confusion with results

Happy to expand on any additional questions about this.


Thanks Thomas… I am the one who started this question… I was confused between my previous lab results that indicated HBV undetected and 2nd result that says detected but not quantifiable!!

I guess it’s same result… I worried that my HBV DNA rebounded.

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Ah, I see. Essentially when you get down to that low level, the chance of not detecting anything in the blood sample is relatively common, even though there might be consistently very low levels of HBV DNA in the blood. The differences likely represent random chance rather than actual biological differences, and probably don’t have major effects on how you are treated or your expected clinical prognosis.


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On my last blood test around a month ago, my HBV DNA was detected at 10.1.

It was <10 around 3 months after I’ve started taking Vemlidy 3 years ago - and stayed below until that last blood test which showed 10.1.

My hepatologist was mildly surprised that it went above 10. I’m not skipping or forgetting my medication.

Is this a frequent event?

Dear @mantana

I’m not sure about how common this occurs, but again, at these low levels, small fluctuations can cause obvious changes in the results. This single value with such a tiny change is probably not clinically relevant (in that it will probably not change how you are treated).

Hope this helps,