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    Epstein-Barr virus test

    EBV antibody test; Monospot

    Epstein-Barr virus test is a blood test to detect antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigens.

    See also: Monospot test

    How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture

    The sample is sent to a lab, where a lab specialist looks for antibodies to the Ebstein-Barr virus. In the first stages of an illness, little antibody may be detected. For this reason, serology tests are often repeated 10 days to 2 or more weeks.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    There is no special preparation for the test.

    How the Test Will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood,you mayfeel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

    Why the Test is Performed

    The test is done to detect an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The EBV antibody test will detect not only a recent infection but one that occurred in the past. It can be used to tell the difference between a recent or previous infection.

    Normal Results

    A normal result means no antibodies to EBV was seen in your blood sample. This means you have never been infected with EBV.

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    A positive result means there are antibodies to EBV in the person's blood, indicating a current or prior infection with EBV.

    Risks

    There is very little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

    Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling light-headed
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

    References

    Johannsen EC, Kaye KM. Epstein-Barr Virus (Infectious Mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr Virus–Associated Malignant Diseases, and Other Diseases). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 139.

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        Tests for Epstein-Barr virus test

        Review Date: 8/24/2011

        Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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