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Vanderbilt Pathology Laboratory Services

Test Directory



VZV DETECTION BY AMPLIFIED PROBE (VZD)

Department: Molecular Infectious Disease
Test Synonym(s): Varicella Zoster Virus, VZD, VZV DNA PCR
CPT Codes: 87798
Methodology: PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
Reference Range: Not detected
Tube Type: CSF container - 1.0 mL
Specimen: CSF
Alternate Specimen: Blood, lesions/ulcers, and eye/vitreous fluid will be accepted as nonpreferred specimen types, and results will be reported with a disclaimer. Blood should be collected in a lavender top (EDTA) tube. Lesions/ulcer swabs should be submitted in Universal (viral) Transport Medium. Eye/vitreous fluid should be submitted in a sterile container (preferably) or Universal Transport Medium. Other specimen types require Medical Director approval; contact the lab prior to specimen collection for approval and collection instructions.
Pediatric Requirements: CSF container - 1.0 mL
Volume: 1.0 mL
Minimum Volume: 0.2 mL
Temperature: Refrigerated: 1 week; -80C: longer than 1 week
Stability: Refrigerated: 1 week; -80C: longer than 1 week
Reasons for Rejection: Alternative specimen sent without Medical Director approval
Days Performed: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Times Performed: Once per day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (batched)
TAT: 1 - 3 days
Significance: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is responsible for common childhood varicella (chickenpox) and adult-onset zoster (shingles). Clinical symptoms of reactivation can be very severe and life-threatening in immunocompromised hosts. One complication of primary or reactivated VZV infection is meningitis or encephalitis, which makes prompt recognition of VZV in CSF critical to appropriate therapeutic management with acyclovir. Viral culture of CSF for VZV lacks sufficient sensitivity and speed to support clinical management of suspected VZV CNS infection. Similarly, VZV serologic testing typically provides limited utility for the diagnosis of VZV meningitis or encephalitis due to the indirect assessment of infection, necessity for matched acute and convalescent specimens, and false-positive IgM results. PCR detection of VZV DNA in CSF is the preferred laboratory diagnostic approach to CNS disease caused by this virus.
Special Instructions: Other sources or samples may be acceptable for this test; please check with the lab, 615-936-6435.
Click here to print the Molecular Diagnostics requisition.

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