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Test Code LAB2442 Rapid CSF Viral PCR Qual Panel

Important Note

CPA- See processing instructions below

Testing will only be performed on CSF from lumbar puncture.  CSF shunt fluid is not an appropriate sample for this testing. 

Clinical System Name

Rapid CSF Viral PCR Qual Panel


CSF Meningitis/encephalitis



Sample Requirements

Specimen: CSF by lumbar puncture

Container:  sterile container

Preferred Vol: 1.0 mL

Minimum Vol: 0.5 mL


Note: Clotted CSF is not acceptable for this test and will be rejected.

Processing Instructions

CPA: Send CSF to Microbiology ASAP. The sample can 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 the sample prior to testing if multiple tubes are not collected for Virology and other testing. Please call Microbiology for any sample related questions.


Off-site collection: This test is only available to Seattle Children's Hospital patients. For Seattle Children's Hospital satellite locations, sample should be refrigerated prior to and during transport to the SCH Microbiology Laboratory.  Sample should be frozen at -20C for storage of >24 hours.




Specimen Temp Time
CSF Room temp 24 hours
  Refrigerated 7 days
  Frozen 4 months



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
PCR 24/7

2 hours


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory


Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes

87496, 87498, 87529, 87532, 87798


Molecular method by BioFire FilmArray (Film Array)


Appropriate test to diagnose HSV 1&2, Enterovirus, Human Parechovirus, VZV, CMV, and HHV-6 encephalitis.

Not appropriate for test of cure or repeat lumbar puncture.  Please order appropriate quantitative virus PCR.

Reporting Information

Final Report: within 2 hours


Positive or negative is reported for each virus.

Notifiable Result

See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA state labs:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State:

Reference Ranges