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Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) Viral Capsid Antibody, IgM (8000100257)
Test Mnemonic:
Specimen Requirements:

Serum separator tube (SST)


Serum separatore tube (SST)

Minimum Volume:

1 mL of serum


Refrigerate (2-8°C) up to 7 days; Samples should be frozen (<-20°C)

Specimen Preparation:

 Within 2 hours of collection, centrifuge


Refrigerate (2-8°C) up to 7 days; Samples should be frozen (<-20°C)

Causes for Rejection:

Lipemic, hemolysis, bacterial contamination, improper collection. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection or no collector information on order.

Reference Range:
Positive - Indicates a current or reactivated infection with EBV. 
Negative - Indicates no detectable IgM to EBV VCA. Interpret in conjunction with EBV IgG results. 
Equivocal - A second sample should be sent.
Turnaround Time:

Test is performed daily, Sunday through Friday


Multiplex Bead Immunoassay


Clinical Microbiology


Epstein Barr Virus Viral Capsid Antibody, IgM; EBV Viral Capsid Antibody, IgM; EBV IgM; EBV Viral Capsid IgM; EBVM

Clinical Indication:

Suspected infection with Epstein Barr virus.  Detection of EBV VCA IgM antibody suggests acute infection.  Order in conjuction with EBV IgG and EBNA antibodies to differentiate acute, recent, and past infection.

Patient Preparation :

Routine venipuncture

CPT 4 Code:



IgM antibodies to VCA are normally present during acute EBV infection, and generally absent in convalescence. The presence of antibodies in otherwise healthy individuals usually indicates exposure either as silent primary infection or reactivation. Antibody levels tend to rise and peak after 3 - 4 weeks, then decline and usually dissipate after 2 - 3 months.

Previously positive patients do not require repeat testing.

If the patient has no detectable antibody, it is recommended to wait at least two weeks before testing again.


When ordering tests for which Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement will be sought, physicians should only order tests that are medically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient. Components of the organ or disease panels may be ordered individually. The diagnostic information must substantiate all tests ordered and must be in the form of an ICD-10 code or its verbal equivalent.
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