Hepatitis A Antibody IgM (HAV IgM)

Antibody to HAV, IgM, Hepatitis A Specific IgM Antibody, Hepatitis A Antibody, IgM (HAV IgM) , Antrim #31332, EPIC: LAB5217, SOFT: HAVM

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect (preferred specimen): One Gold-top SST tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 4.0 mL)
Also acceptable: One Lavender-top EDTA tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 3.0 mL) 

Note: Patient Preparation (Royal Oak ONLY): Twenty-four (24) hours before this test, the patient should not take multivitamins or dietary supplements containing biotin (vitamin B7) which is commonly found in hair, skin and nail supplements and multivitamins.

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

  • Let SST specimens clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) the centrifuged SST tube within two hours of collection. (Min: 2.0 mL)
  • Centrifuge Lavender-top tube immediately to separate plasma from cells. Transfer plasma to a plastic transport tube and refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) within twelve hours of collection. (Min: 2.0 mL) 

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Centrifuged SST tube or plasma aliquot, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Min: 2.0 mL serum or plasma)

Rejection Criteria

  • Hemolyzed specimens.
  • Severely lipemic specimens.
  • Red-top tubes with serum not separated from cells within two hours of collection.
  • Lavender-top tubes with plasma not separated from cells within twelve hours of collection. 


Centrifuged SST tubes may be transported and stored at ambient temperatures (2o to 30oC; 36o to 86oF) for up to 48 hours. DO NOT FREEZE TUBES CONTAINING BLOOD. For longer storage, the serum should be removed from the gel and refrigerated (2o-8oC) or frozen at -20o C or below.

Red-top tubes and Microtainers® may be stored at ambient temperatures for up to 16 hours and for up to 3 days at refrigerator temperatures (2o -8oC).DO NOT FREEZE TUBES CONTAINING BLOOD. For longer storage, the serum should be removed from the clot and refrigerated (2o-8oC) or frozen at -20o C or below.

Lavender top tubes can be stored at ambient temperatures (2o to 30oC; 36o to 86oF) for up to 12 hours.

Serum and plasma (pour-overs) may be stored at room temperature (20o to 26o C; 68o to 79o F) for up to 5 days, refrigerator temperature (2o to 8oC; 36o to 47o F) for two weeks, and at -20oC (-4o F) for up to 3 months. Specimens stored at -70o C (-94o F) can be stored indefinetly.


Sunday - Saturday, 24 hours a day.
Results available within 24 hours of receipt in the Laboratory.

Reference Range


Test Methodology

Chemiluminescence Immunoassay.


  • A positive/reactive result for HAV-IgM may indicate a current or recent infection, however it may also represent a false positive result. A patient with an acute HAV infection is expected to have a positive/reactive HAV-IgG result in addition to the reactive HAV-IgM.
  • This test can not determine a patient's immune status to hepatitis A. The HAV IgG test should be ordered in these cases.
  • Patients with an Equivocal/Borderline result should be closely monitored by redrawing and retesting at approximately one week intervals as clinically indicated.

Clinical Utility

  • This assay is a qualitative procedure for detecting the presence or absence of hepatitis A virus IgM in serum and plasma specimens. The HAV IgM test is used as an aid in the diagnosis of an acute or recent (usually six months or less) hepatitis A viral infection. This test should be ordered when acute Hepatitis A infection is suspected.
  • IgM antibodies are present at the onset of symptoms and peak approximately 4 weeks later. IgM antibodies usually disappear 3 - 6 months after the onset of disease. The presence of HAV- specific IgM in serum indicates a current or recent infection. (1)
  • The incubation period is 10 - 50 days with a mean incubation time of 1 month. (1)
  • The symptoms of hepatitis A may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever and vomiting. Urine may become darker in color, and then jaundice may appear. The disease is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications. Infants and young children tend to have very mild symptoms and are less likely to develop jaundice than older children and adults.


  1. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, ed Mandel, 7th ed, Chap 115, 116.

CPT Code


Test Codes

Antrim #31332, EPIC: LAB5217, SOFT: HAVM

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