Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR (Qualitative) - blood specimen

  • LIS Mnemonic: CMVPCR


    Lavendar (EDTA)

    Volume Required

    4-7 ml whole blood; for infants a volume of 2-4 ml is acceptable

    Minimum Required

    4 ml whole blood; for infants a volume of 2 ml is acceptable


    Transport blood in a timely fashion (preferably within 8 hours of collection) at room temperature to the Clinical Virology Laboratory.




    Whole blood in an EDTA-anticoagulated tube is the preferred specimen source. Thoroughly mix the blood by gently inverting the collection tube 6-12 times before sending to the laboratory. Other acceptable specimens include body fluids, tissue submitted in viral transport medium, and CSF.

    Unacceptable conditions

    Clotted specimens

Days Performed



Same day

Reflex Testing

If qualitative CMV DNA real-time PCR is positive from blood, a quantitative assay will be performed to measure the amount of CMV DNA present.


87496 (qualitative CMV DNA PCR screening), 87497 (quantitative viral load determination, if necessary)


Amplification and detection of CMV DNA polymerase gene using TaqMan real-time PCR technology. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.


If positive, results are reported as cytomegalovirus DNA detected.

Reference Values

Negative or no cytomegalovirus DNA detected

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