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Can hepatitis B infection cause false positive VDRL test results?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: I had VDRL, and TPHA test done that came back as reactive. I do not have syphilis. In 1991 I did have a case of secondary syphilis, however, I was treated and cured with a series of penicillin shots. I do have hepatitis B, could this cause a false positive on the VDRL/THPA test?
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Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
VDRL and TPHA may give false positive results with hepatitis B.

Detailed Answer:
Hello

VDRL and TPHA may give false positive results with hepatitis B. But in your uploaded report, hepatitis B is most likely negative (please confirm it).

Reactive VDRL and TPHA may indicate syphilis. Up to 30 % cases may have positive VDRL and TPHA after one year of treatment but your history is very old (1991), so this can't be the factor in your case. And past infection doesn't protect the individual from future infection. However we need proper clinical evaluation to diagnosis syphillis. I will urge you to visit a doctor who after detailed medical history can examine for syphilitic ulcer or chancre, rash, lymphadenopathy. Diagnosis of this condition will be based on these factors and not entirely from the blood report.

Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Indu Kumar

Radiologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 6727 Questions

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Can hepatitis B infection cause false positive VDRL test results?

Brief Answer: VDRL and TPHA may give false positive results with hepatitis B. Detailed Answer: Hello VDRL and TPHA may give false positive results with hepatitis B. But in your uploaded report, hepatitis B is most likely negative (please confirm it). Reactive VDRL and TPHA may indicate syphilis. Up to 30 % cases may have positive VDRL and TPHA after one year of treatment but your history is very old (1991), so this can't be the factor in your case. And past infection doesn't protect the individual from future infection. However we need proper clinical evaluation to diagnosis syphillis. I will urge you to visit a doctor who after detailed medical history can examine for syphilitic ulcer or chancre, rash, lymphadenopathy. Diagnosis of this condition will be based on these factors and not entirely from the blood report. Hope I have answered your question. Further queries are most welcome. Take Care Dr.Indu XXXXXXX