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Test Code CMV PCR Quant CMV PCR Quant, Blood

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name



Cytomegalovirus PCR

CMV by PCR, Quantitative blood



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.


This test is validated for blood plasma only, serum will be accepted but may not be optimal for this assay. The sample may be shared with other Viral PCR tests. For Bone Marrow or other tissue, see CMV by PCR QUALitative. For CSF see CMV PCR Quant, CSF. Please forward requests for CMV PCR Quant to the Microbiology Laboratory.



Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole Blood

Container: Lavender/EDTA

Preferred Vol: 3.0 mL

Minimum Vol: 1.0 mL

Note: When drawing for multiple PCR tests (ex. CMV PCR, EBV PCR, BKV PCR), EACH PCR test requires 1.0mL EDTA whole blood.


Heparin whole blood (Green Top Tubes) are not acceptable and will be rejected.

Processing Instructions

CPA: Send whole blood 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. For shared whole blood samples, CPA will aliquot for all testing prior to sending samples to Microbiology. 


Off-site collection:  Off-site Children's Lab locations should spin down EDTA whole blood and aliquot the plasma for storage and transport to the SCH Microbiology Laboratory. Sample should be frozen at -20C for both storage and transport. 


Other off-site locations, it is recommended that the whole blood sample be spun down to obtain EDTA plasma. The EDTA plasma is stable for up to one week when stored at -20C and is the preferred sample for testing from off-site locations. 


Specimen Temp Time
Whole Blood Room temp 2 hours
  Refrigerated 24 hours
  Frozen N
Plasma Refrigerated 24 hours
  Frozen 1 week



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
PCR Mon-Fri @ 9am; Saturday @ 7am

24 - 72 hours


Test is not available STAT.

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes



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

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.