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Vanderbilt Pathology Laboratory Services

Test Directory



HSV DETECTION BY AMPLIFIED PROBE (HSD)

Department: Molecular Infectious Disease
Test Synonym(s): Herpes Simplex Virus DNA, HSD, HSV DNA, Herpes Simplex Virus CSF, HSV CSF
CPT Codes: 87529
Methodology: PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction
Reference Range: Not detected
Tube Type: CSF container, red top SST (clot activator with gel), Universal Transport Medium (UTM)
Specimen: CSF, serum, lesion (swab)
Alternate Specimen: Eye/vitreous fluid will be accepted as a nonpreferred specimen type, and results will be reported with a disclaimer. Lesions/ulcer swabs should be submitted in universal (viral) transport medium (UTM). Eye/vitreous fluid should be submitted in a sterile container (preferably) or UTM. Other specimen types require Medical Director approval; contact the lab prior to specimen collection for approval and collection instructions.
Pediatric Requirements: CSF container, red top SST (clot activator with gel), Universal Transport Medium (UTM)
Volume: 1 mL
Minimum Volume: 0.25 mL
Temperature: Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen (-70C): greater than 1 week
Stability: Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen (-70C): greater than 1 week
Reasons for Rejection: Alternative specimen sent without Medical Director approval; improper storage
Days Performed: CSF: daily; Serum and Lesions: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Times Performed: CSF: 3 times per day; Serum and Lesions: once per day (batched)
TAT: CSF: 24 hours or less; Serum and Lesions: 24-48 hours
Significance: PCR is substantially more sensitive than viral culture and test of choice for the diagnosis of suspected HSV infections of the central nervous system (encephalitis and meningitis). CSF cultures are generally of limited value in the detection of HSV. PCR is also the test of choice for detection of HSV viremia. Though culture isolation serves as a reliable means of demonstrating HSV in oral and genital lesions, PCR displays increased sensitivity at mucocutaneous sites.
Special Instructions: Assay sensitivity for virus detection in CSF may be low shortly after symptom development. Consider repeat testing for patients with a negative HSV PCR result but exhibiting a compatible clinical syndrome or neuroimaging findings.
Click here to print the Molecular Diagnostics requisition.

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