Determination of specific IgG antibodies against cytomegalovirus is used to determine if a patient (particularly transplant recipients, organ and blood donors) has had a recent infection or previous exposure to the virus.
Cytomegalovirus or megacytovirus (CMV) belongs to the family of herpesviruses and is also known as human herpesvirus type 5 (HHV-5). It is a widespread virus and it is estimated that, depending on the area, 40% to 100% of the population may be infected. In most people, the virus remains latent and causes no symptoms. In rare cases it can cause hepatitis or pneumonia in adult patients,. In immunosuppressed patients, however, CMV infection can have devastating effects. In AIDS patients, CMV infection can cause pneumonitis, esophagitis, colitis, encephalitis, hepatitis and retinal blindness. In transplanted patients, CMV infection is considered to be a very important complication that can often lead to death. CMV infection during pregnancy can cause mental retardation and microcephaly in the newborn. CMV is found in all secretions of the body.
The best evidence for the determination of an active cytomegalovirus infection, is the significant change in antibody titre in two specimens spaced apart (approximately 2 weeks), where both tests are performed in the same laboratory at the same time.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.