Cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR Blood Test
Test Code: 139149
Specimen Type: Blood
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR Blood Test (Labcorp)
This test measures the level of viral genetic material for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the blood. Positive results for this PCR test will provide a quantitative numerical value for the level of viral DNA detected (viral load). Negative results will simply report as "negative." The reportable range for the CMV DNA PCR test is 200-1 million units/ml. A positive result with a value below the reportable range will report as <200.
CMV belongs to the Herpes virus family which also includes the viruses that cause chickenpox and mononucleosis. CMV is spread through close contact with blood or bodily fluids including through sexual contact. Infection with CMV is very common and a majority of people will have been exposed by the time they turn 40. Most healthy adults experience no health issues from CMV. Some may experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and muscle aches which pass after a couple of weeks. However, in very young children or people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, CMV can cause serious health complications. Pregnant women with the virus risk passing it to their infants.
The most common screening for CMV in otherwise healthy adults is a blood antibody test. Both IgM antibody and IgG antibody tests are available. PCR testing is not typically done as an initial screening because negative results cannot rule out an infection. PCR testing can be useful in several ways.
- Confirming the results of a positive IgM or IgG antibody test.
- Distinguishing between an active and latent infection.
- Viral levels can help determine how severe a person's infection is.
- Monitoring how well a person is responding to antiviral therapy.
Turnaround for this test is typically in 3-5 business days.
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