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Test Name:
Infectious Mononucleosis Screen

  • TMF No:
  • Performance Lab Name:
    TMF Automated Laboratory / Hematology
  • Test Mnemonic:
  • CPT Code:
  • Also Known As:
    Heterophile Antibody; Screen for Infectious Mononucleosis; Mono Test; Monospot
  • Spec Collect:
    Gold top (SST) or Red top (serum) tube. Also acceptable: Lavender top (EDTA) tube. Mix by inverting tube 8 times.
  • Spec Process:
    Allow serum specimen to clot completely at room temperature. Separate serum or plasma from cells ASAP or within 2 hours of collection.
    SST: Transport properly centrifuged gel-barrier tube specimens in the original collection tube.
    Other collection tubes: Transfer 1 mL serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube. (Min: 0.5 mL)
  • Spec Store Transport:
    Refrigerated (48 hours) or frozen.
  • Spec Stability:
    Room temperature: 24 hours
    Refrigerated Plasma: 24 hours
    Refrigerated Serum: 48 hours
    Frozen: 1 year (avoid repeated freeze/thaw cycles)
  • Spec Reject:
    Contaminated or hemolyzed specimens.
  • Methodology:
    Qualitative Latex Agglutination
  • Use:
    Initial serologic test to detect acute Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis.
  • Clinical Significance:
    Heterophile antibody has been rarely associated with disease states other than infectious mononucleosis, such as leukemia, cytomegalovirus, Burkitt's lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and viral hepatitis. A single heterophile antibody titer is considered to have no relation to the severity of the disease, but sequential titer determinations may be useful in following the course of an individual patient. Although most patients (90%) will have a detectable heterophile level within three weeks of infection, occasionally a patient with strong clinical signs of infectious mononucleosis may take as long as three months to develop a detectable level. The heterophile test or mononucleosis slide test is probably the best test for detecting acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Negative results are more common in children. If further testing is desired, collect additional specimens and retest every few days. EBV infection can also be established, especially in "monospot-negative" cases, with the use of EBV IgM-specific serologies.
  • Additional Test Info:
    Lab Tests Online
  • Day Run:
  • Time Run:
    As received
  • Time Reported:
    5:00 pm
  • Test Type: