Influenza A and B, Real-time RT-PCR

CPT: 87502
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Test Details


  • Flu A/B


Confirm presence of influenza A or influenza B


Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

Specimen Requirements


Nasopharyngeal swab, nasal swab, throat swab, or combined throat/nasopharyngeal swab


One swab

Minimum Volume

One swab


Viral, Chlamydia, or Mycoplasma culture transport provided by LabCorp or other appropriate transport medium

Patient Preparation

Patients should be instructed and guided to hold their head back at a 45° angle to facilitate passage of the swab through the nares and into the nasopharynx.


Specimen should be collected during acute phase of the disease, ideally within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. Guide the flexible (ideally a flocked rather than wound) swab into the contour of the nares and into the nasopharynx. Leave in place 15 to 30 seconds, rotate and remove. Place swab in viral transport.

Throat swab: Carefully rub the posterior nasopharynx with a dry sterile swab (preferably the "flocked swab"). Avoid touching the tongue or buccal mucosa. Place swab in viral transport.

Storage Instructions


Stability Requirements




7 days


7 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x2

Causes for Rejection

Bacterial swab transport; source other than those listed above; grossly leaking transport container; dry specimen; specimen submitted in fixatives; specimen in other than a suitable viral transport device; specimen received after a prolonged delay; unlabeled specimen

Clinical Information


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
186221 Influenza A and B, RT PCR 186222 Influenza A PCR 76078-5
186221 Influenza A and B, RT PCR 186223 Influenza B PCR 76080-1

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