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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: CMV Qualitative by PCR, BAL


CPT Code(s): 87496

Methodology: Real-Time PCR

Clinical Significance: Detect CMV in bronchoalveolar lavage.

Days Performed: Mon-Fri.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: 2 - 3 days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)

Collection Volume: Preferred: 50 mL
Pediatrics: 12 mL

Sample Analyzed: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid

Volume Required: Preferred: 3 mL
Pediatrics: 1.2 mL

Specimen Transport: Transport to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220) within 2 hours of collection.

Stability: Ambient: 72 hours
Refrigerated: 72 hours
Frozen: 30 days


Expected Results:

Not detected

Test Limitations:

A "Not detected" result may be the result of PCR inhibitors, virus levels below the level of detection of this test, or virus diluted in a large sampling volume. Virus quantitation is not possible due to the nature of the specimen.

Additional Information:

A "Detected" result in BAL specimens indicates the presence of CMV DNA. A result of "Not Detected" in BAL specimens does not rule out the presence of CMV DNA or the absence of infection. False negative results may be due to the suppression of viral replication to levels below the detection threshold, or to inhibitory substances that may be present in the specimen. Inadequate specimen collection, processing and storage may invalidate test results. This test should not be used as the only criterion to form a clinical conclusion, instead, results should be correlated with other test results, patient symptoms and clinical presentation.


The performance characteristics of this test were validated by UWHC Clinical Laboratories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved or cleared this test; however, FDA approval or clearance is currently not required for clinical use of this test. The results are not intended to be used as the sole means for clinical diagnosis or patient management decisions. The UWHC Clinical Laboratories is authorized under Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to perform high-complexity testing.

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