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Vanderbilt Pathology Laboratory Services

Test Directory



HEPATITIS C RNA QUANTIFICATION BY PCR (HCQ)

Department: Molecular Infectious Disease
Test Synonym(s): HCQ, HCV RNA quant
CPT Codes: 87522
Methodology: PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
Reference Range: No HCV RNA detected
Tube Type: Lavendar top (EDTA) - Two full tubes
Specimen: Plasma spun and separated from RBC within 6 hours of collection.
Alternate Specimen: Red top SST (clot activator with gel). Need Medical Director approval
Pediatric Requirements: 1.5 mL EDTA plasma
Volume: 1.5 mL EDTA plasma
Minimum Volume: 1.5 mL EDTA plasma
Temperature: Room Temperature: same day, Refrigerated: 3 days; -80C: up to 6 weeks
Stability: Room temperature: same day, Refrigerated: 3 days; -80C: up to 6 weeks
Reasons for Rejection: Alternative specimen sent without Medical Director approval
Days Performed: Wednesday and Friday
Times Performed: Once every Wednesday and Friday (batched)
TAT: 2 - 5 days
Significance: A blood-borne viral infection originally linked to transfusion of blood products, most new HCV cases are related to injection-drug abuse in economically advanced countries since blood products are routinely screened for HCV. More than 3 million persons in the United States are HCV-infected, and it is estimated that approximately 17,000 new infections occur annually. Chronic HCV infection, with its attendant liver disease, is the most common condition leading to liver transplantation in the United States. Laboratory diagnosis of HCV is approached using a combination of serology and nucleic acid-amplification testing. A positive HCV antibody-screening test provides presumptive evidence of infection, which should be followed with an HCV-specific nucleic acid-amplification test. Quantitative PCR—i.e., viral load—testing forms the cornerstone of monitoring responses to antiviral therapy, which is administered with the goal to achieve viral cure and thereby reduce adverse consequences of HCV infection (e.g., end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma) and all-cause mortality.
Special Instructions: Transportation of whole blood, room temperature or refrigerated. Transportation of plasma, refrigerated or frozen. Analytical measurement range: 15 - 25,000,000 HCV RNA IU/mL.
Click here to print the Molecular Diagnostics requisition.

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