Update Type: Test Methodology Changed
Test Updated: 11/08/2023
Test Overview
Test Methodology

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Test Usage

Intended for use as an aid in the management of CMV in solid organ transplant patients and in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. Inpatients receiving anti-CMV therapy, serial DNA measurements can be used to assess viral response to treatment.

Reference Range *

Not detected in uninfected patients. Patients with latent infection may have a detectable viral load at baseline.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

The results must be interpreted within the context of all relevant clinical and laboratory findings.
Negative test results do not preclude CMV infection or tissue-invasive CMV disease, and test results should therefore not be the sole basis for patient management decisions.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Tuesday - Saturday
Analytic Time

8 hours

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
CMV DNA,Quantitative
  • CMV DNA Quantitation
  • CMV Viral Load
  • Cytomegalovirus Viral Load
  • Viral Load, Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • QCMV
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect specimen in a lavender top (EDTA) tube. Centrifuge for 20 minutes at 800 - 1600 xg at room temperature and aliquot plasma into a polypropylene plastic vial within 24 hours of collection. Refrigerate for up to 6 days or freeze for longer storage. Do not allow frozen specimens to thaw at any time during storage or transport, due to possible degradation of the DNA. Specimens submitted in polystyrene tubes are not acceptable. Specimens sent for Microbiology molecular testing require a dedicated sample and cannot be shared with other laboratories.

Normal Volume
4 mL whole blood or 2 mL plasma
Minimum Volume
2 mL whole blood or 1 mL plasma
Storage Temperature
Plasma samples separated from whole blood within 24 hours of collection may be stored and/or transported for up to 6 days at 2-8°C or up to 12 weeks at -20°C±2°C. For long-term storage up to 6 months, temperatures at -75°C±15°C are recommended.
Rejection Criteria
Specimens received in polystyrene aliquot tubes are unacceptable and will be rejected. Plasma must be removed from cells in 24 hours of collection.
Additional Information

The lower limit of detection is 34.5 IU/mL (1.54 log IU/mL). The quantitative range of this assay is 34.5 IU/mL to 10,000,000 IU/mL (1.54 to 7.00 LOG10).
Guidelines based on the precision of PCR tests suggest that the changes in serial viral load measurements should be at least 3-fold (0.5 log10) to represent biologically important changes. For viral loads near the lower limit of detection, measurements may need to be greater than 5-fold (0.7 log10) to be significant. Virus present below 34.5 IU/mL will be reported as detected but not quantified. If results are greater than 10,000,000 IU/mL a dilution of the sample will be run for an exact quantitation. For Mlabs, please contact client service center if actual viral load is needed.

CPT Code
Fee Code