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Important Note

For CSF, this test should only be used for follow-up testing after a positive Rapid CSF Viral PCR Qual Panel.

For initial testing of CSF, use the Rapid CSF Viral PCR Qual Panel

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name



Cytomegalovirus PCR

CMV by PCR, QUANTitative Cerebrospinal Fluid


This test can share a tube with other viral PCR testing. For blood plasma, see CMV PCR QuantFor Bone Marrow or other tissue, see CMV by PCR, QUALitative. Please forward requests for CMV PCR CSF to the Microbiology Laboratory.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA is detected via nucleic acid amplification. Quantitative nucleic acid detection assays offer analytic sensitivity to detect infection at an early stage before clinically significant disease occurs.  The quantitative nature of these assays also allow threshold levels that can be used to monitor or begin treatment.



Sample Requirements

Specimen: CSF

Container: CSF Tube

Preferred Vol: 0.5mL

Minimum Vol: N/A


Processing Instructions

CPA: Send CSF to Microbiology. The sample may be shared with other Viral PCR tests but cannot be shared or added on to samples that have been run through any analyzer. Microbiology may split sample prior to testing if multiple tubes are not collected for Virology and other testing.


Off-site collection:  Off-site Children's Lab locations should refrigerate sample prior to and during transport to the SCH Microbiology Laboratory. Sample should be frozen at -20C if transport is delayed. 


Other off-site locations, it is recommended that the sample be stored at -20C as this ensures stability for up to one week.


Temp Time
Room temp 2 hours
Refrigerated 24 hours
Frozen 7 Days



STAT Performed TAT
N M, T, W, Th, F, Sa 24 - 72 hours

This test is performed Mon - Fri at 9am; Sat at 7 am. Test is not available STAT. 

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes



This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (such as MIC's and ID's)

Reporting Information

Final Report: 24 -72 hours


The WHO recommends the use of International Units (IU, Acrometrix Life Technologies) as the calibration standards for quantitative measurement of viral load. The Acrometrix recommended conversion Factor for CMV is 1 IU/mL = 1.72 copies/mL.





Reference Ranges

Result Interpretation
None Detected Negative
1 - 199 IU/mL See Comment*
≥200 IU/mL Positive


* CMV: The limit of quantitative detection (the minimum virus level that gives a positive result in 90% of replicates) is 200 IU/mL (2.3 logIU/mL). Quantitative results less than 200 IU/mL are described as very low positive. The clinical significance of very low positive results is uncertain and should be individually analyzed with clinical discretion.