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False negative hepatitis B surface antigen detection in dialysis patients due to excess surface antigen: postzone phenomenon.
  1. L G Hefter,
  2. M A Hix,
  3. M Stoner,
  4. C B Cook


    Renal dialysis patients are well known to have a high incidence of hepatitis B carrier state. In studying a group of 63 long-term dialysis patients, 10 were found to be positive for hepatitis B surface antigen by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Surprisingly, however, only three of these RIA positive patients were positive by counter immunoelectrophoresis (CIEP). The discrepancy could not be accounted for by the difference in sensitivity of the two methods. The cause for the negative reactions by CIEP in seven patients was found to be the marked excess surface antigen in these sera which produced false negative results by the postzone phenomenon. After dilution all seven sera were positive by CIEP, requiring a dilution up to 1/20 to produce a positive result. Also, all seven sera were positive by the less sensitive Ouchterlony double diffusion.

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