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Test ID: LCMV Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Molecular Detection, PCR, Varies

Reporting Name

Cytomegalovirus PCR

Useful For

Rapid qualitative detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA


This test is not intended for the monitoring of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease progression.

Clinical Information

Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients and other immunocompromised hosts. Specific neurologic syndromes associated with CMV infection include subacute radiculomyelopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and encephalitis. 


CMV-associated central nervous system (CNS) disease occurs most commonly in immunocompromised patients. Histologic evidence of CMV infections in autopsy brain tissue was identified in 20% to 40% of AIDS patients. In 2 separate studies, CMV (DNA) was the most common herpesvirus (29/181, 16/49) detected from cerebrospinal fluid of patients with AIDS. 


CNS infections with CMV can also occur in immunocompetent patients. CMV is a leading cause of congenital viral infections worldwide, and laboratory testing by real-time PCR is useful in the diagnosis of neonatal CMV disease.


Detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in a specimen supports the clinical diagnosis of infection due to this virus.


Studies indicate that CMV DNA is not detected by PCR in cerebrospinal fluid from patients without central nervous system disease caused by this virus.

Report Available

Same day/1 to 3 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday

Clinical Reference

1. Espy M, Binnicker MJ: Comparison of six real-time PCR assays for the qualitative detection of cytomegalovirus in clinical specimens. J Clin Microbiol 2013:51(11):3749-3752

2. Petito CK, Cho ES, Lemann W, et al: Neuropathy of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): an autopsy review. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1986 November;45(6):635-646

3. Cinque P, Vago L, Dahl H, et al: Polymerase chain reaction on cerebrospinal fluid for diagnosis of virus-associated opportunistic diseases of the central nervous system in HIV-infected patients. AIDS 1996 August;10(9):951-958

4. Broccolo F, Iulioano R, Careddu AM, et al: Detection of lymphotropic herpesvirus DNA by polymerase chain reaction in cerebrospinal fluid of AIDS patients with neurological disease. Acta Virol 2000 June-August;44(3):137-143

5. Prosch S, Schielke E, Reip A, et al: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encephalitis in an immunocompetent young person and diagnostic reliability of HCMV DNA PCR using cerebrospinal fluid of nonimmunosuppressed patients. J Clin Microbiol 1998 December;36(12):3636-3640

6. Sia IG, Patel R: New strategies for prevention and therapy of cytomegalovirus infection and disease in solid-organ transplant recipients. Clin Microbiol Rev 2000;13:83-121

Method Name

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/DNA Probe Hybridization

Specimen Type


Ordering Guidance

For plasma specimens order CMVQN / Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA Detection and Quantification by Real-Time PCR, Plasma.

Necessary Information

Specimen source is required.

Specimen Required

Submit only 1 of the following specimens:


Supplies: Sarstedt 5 mL Aliquot Tube (T914)

Specimen Type: Fluid

Sources: Spinal, pleural, peritoneal, ascites, pericardial, amniotic, or ocular


Preferred: Sterile screw-cap 5-mL aliquot tube

Acceptable: Sterile Container

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions: Do not centrifuge.


Supplies: Sarstedt 5 mL Aliquot Tube (T914)

Specimen Type: Fluid

Sources: Respiratory; bronchial washing, bronchoalveolar lavage, nasopharyngeal aspirate or washing, sputum, or tracheal aspirate


Preferred: Sterile screw-cap 5-mL aliquot tube

Acceptable: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1.5 mL



-Culturette (BBL Culture Swab) (T092)

-M4-RT (T605)

-Bartels FlexTrans VTM-3 mL (T892)

-Jiangsu VTM-3 mL (T891)

Specimen Type: Swab

Sources: Genital; cervix, vagina, urethra, anal/rectal, or other genital sources

Container/Tube: multimicrobe media (M4-RT) (T605) and ESwabs

Collection Instructions: Place swab back into multimicrobe media (M4-RT, M4, or M5) 



-Culturette (BBL Culture Swab) (T092)

-M4-RT Media (T605)

-Bartels FlexTrans VTM-3 mL (T892)

-Jiangsu VTM-3 mL (T891)

Specimen Type: Swab

Sources: Miscellaneous; dermal, eye, nasal, saliva, or throat

Container/Tube: multimicrobe media (M4-RT) (T605) and ESwabs

Collection Instructions: Place swab back into multimicrobe media (M4-RT, M4, or M5)



-M4-RT (T605)

-Bartels FlexTrans VTM-3 mL (T892)

-Jiangsu VTM-3 mL (T891)

Specimen Type: Tissue

Sources: Brain, colon, kidney, liver, lung, etc.

Container/Tube: Sterile container containing 1 mL to 2 mL of sterile saline or multimicrobe medium (M4-RT [T605], M4, or M5)

Specimen Volume: Entire collection

Collection Instructions: Submit only fresh tissue in multimicrobe media (M4-RT) (T605) or a sterile container with 1 to 2 mL sterile saline


Specimen Type: Urine

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: Collect a random urine specimen.


Specimen Type: Bone marrow

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Specimen Minimum Volume

Body Fluid, Ocular Fluid, Spinal Fluid, or Urine: 0.3 mL
Respiratory Specimens: 1 mL
Tissue: 2 × 2-mm biopsy

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Frozen  7 days

Reference Values


Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
LCMV Cytomegalovirus PCR 5000-5


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
SRC66 Specimen Source 31208-2
81240 Cytomegalovirus PCR 5000-5


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Microbiology and Infectious Disease Catalog Additional Information:

mml-immunocompromised, mml-pregnancyneonate,mml-mbid-cnsinfections