• Test Code:
  • Department:
  • Test Synonyms:
    CMV by PCRCMV qual
  • CPT Code(s):

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a significant cause of graft injury and rejection in solid organ transplant recipients and life-threatening interstitial pneumonitis in bone marrow transplant recipients.  In otherwise immunocompromised patients it is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality such as CMV retinitis or CMV encephalitis.  Viral load determination by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows for early detection and surveillance of high risk patients, as well as monitoring of efficacy of therapy.

Clinical Utility:
Viral load determination allows detection of active versus latent infection and aid in decisions on pre-emptive treatment of symptomatic CMV infection. Viral load determination is also useful for monitoring of treatment efficacy and detection of drug resistance.


We have a developed a method using The LightCycler (LC) PCR thermalcycler for accurate detection and genotyping of samples derived non-plasma samples such cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), amniotic fluids, or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL).  Following DNA extraction, PCR amplification and genotyping via melting curve analysis are accomplished by using specific amplification primers and probes.

Lower Limit of Detection:

200 International Units/ml (200 IU/ml)


Specimen Requirements:

  • Collect 1-2 mL of CSF, amniotic fluid, or bronchoalverolar lavage fluid. 
  • Pediatric Minimum is 200µL of fluid.
  • Store and ship samples refrigerated. 
  • Contact Client Services for shipping materials and procedures at (855) 535-1522.

A REQUISITION FORM MUST ACCOMPANY ALL SAMPLES.  Please provide detailed clinical information.

Test Performed (Days):

Daily (Monday-Friday)

Turn Around Time:

1 - 3 days

Shipment Sensitivity Requirements:

Package and ship specimen on cold packs.  Ship via overnight express, using the FedEx priority overnight label provided. 
Contact Client Services at (855) 535-1522 for shipping kits and instructions.


  1. Einsele H., et al. Polymerase Chain Reaction Monitoring Reduces the Incidence of Cytomegalovirus Disease and the Duration and side Effects of Antiviral Therapy after Bone Marrow Transplantation. Blood 86, 2815-2820, 1995.
  2. Nolte FS., et al. Early Detection of Human Cytomegalovirus Viremia in Bone Marrow Transplant Recipients by DNA Amplification. J Clin Micro 33, 1263-1266, 1995.
  3. Hong KM., et al. Quantitative Real-Time PCR with Automated Sample Preparation for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Cytomegalovrius Infection in Bone Marrow Transplant Patients. Clinical Chemistry 50, 846-56, 2004.

Additional Info:


The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute's largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

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