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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Malarial Smear

Test Code(s): MAL / GM1085

CPT Code(s): 87207 x 2

Test Description: Test Component:

Thin prep smear for review by UWHC Laboratory; thick and thin prep smears for review by Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene.

Clinical Significance: To diagnose malaria infections, including speciation.

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

Turnaround Time: Routine: Thin prep review by UWHC Hematology Lab: 1 hour. Thick/thin prep review by the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene: 1 day (available Monday-Friday only).

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Venipuncture or finger stick

Collection Instructions: Preferred collection time is immediately before a fever spike is anticipated. Capillary blood collected into a lavendar- K3EDTA  microtainer is preferred, lavendar-K2EDTA is acceptable. Otherwise whole blood in a lavendar K3EDTA tube is preferred, lavendar K2EDTA is acceptable.

Collection Container: Preferred: See collection instructions.

Collection Volume: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.25 mL in microtainer

Sample Analyzed: Whole Blood

Volume Required: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.25 mL in microtainer

Specimen Processing: Slides must be prepared by laboratory within 1 hour of specimen collection.  Prepare 5 thin slides (unstained, unfixed) and 2 thick slides (unstained, unfixed).  Allow slides to dry completely prior to shipping.

Specimen Transport: Transport whole blood specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220) immediately.  If sending slides, place in protective slide holder(s).

Stability: Ambient: Whole blood: 1 hour
Refrigerated: OK
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

No blood parasites seen.

Critical Calls: View

Additional Information:

Ordering source will be called if organisms are seen. One set of negative blood smears does not definitively rule out malaria infection. Follow-up samples should be collected for a minimum of three successive days, every six to eight hours.

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