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Test ID: HCCAD Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Screen for Cadaveric or Hemolyzed Specimens, Asymptomatic, Serum

Reporting Name

HCV Ab Cadaver/Hemolyzed Screen, S

Useful For

Screening cadaveric or hemolyzed serum specimens for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in asymptomatic individuals with or without risk factors for HCV infection

Note: In accordance with National Coverage Determination guidance, this test is indicated for asymptomatic patients born from 1945 through 1965, those with history of injection drug use, or history of receiving blood transfusion prior to 1992.


This test is not intended for screening blood, cell, or tissue donors.

This test is not intended for testing symptomatic individuals (ie, diagnostic purposes).


This test is not useful for ruling out acute HCV infection.


This test is not useful for differentiation between resolved and acute or chronic HCV infection.

Specimen Type


Advisory Information

For testing hemolyzed specimens from symptomatic patients with or without risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, order HCCDD / Hepatitis C Virus Antibody in Cadaveric or Hemolyzed Specimens, Symptomatic, Serum.

Necessary Information

Date of collection is required.

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube: 

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Centrifuge blood collection tube per collection tube manufacturer's instructions (eg, centrifuge within 2 hours of collection for BD Vacutainer tubes).

2. Aliquot serum into plastic vial.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.2 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Frozen (preferred) 28 days
  Ambient  7 days
  Refrigerated  7 days

Reference Values


Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday, Thursday; Varies

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved or is exempt by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information



86804 (if appropriate)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
HCCAD HCV Ab Cadaver/Hemolyzed Screen, S 13955-0


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
87858 HCV Ab Cadaver/Hemolyzed Screen, S 13955-0

Clinical Information

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is recognized as the cause of most cases of post-transfusion hepatitis and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the United States, HCV infection is quite common, with an estimated 2.4 million chronic HCV carriers.


HCV antibodies are usually not detectable during the early months following infection, but they are almost always detectable by the late convalescent stage (>6 months after onset of acute infection). These antibodies do not neutralize the virus, and they do not provide immunity against this viral infection. Loss of HCV antibodies may occur many years following resolution of infection.


Despite the value of serologic tests to screen for HCV infection, several limitations of serologic testing are known:

-There may be a long delay (up to 6 months) between exposure to the virus and the development of detectable antibodies.

-False-reactive screening test results can occur.

-A reactive screening test result does not distinguish between past (resolved) and present HCV infection.

-Serologic tests cannot provide information on clinical response to antiviral therapy.


Positive screening serologic test results should be followed by a confirmatory or supplemental test, such as line immunoassay (HCVL / Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Confirmation, Serum) for HCV antibodies or a nucleic acid test for HCV RNA. Although nucleic acid tests provide a very sensitive and specific approach to directly detect HCV RNA in a patient's blood, they are not suitable for use in testing cadaveric blood specimens due to interference of heme with the nucleic acid amplification processes.


All specimens with signal-to-cutoff ratios of 1.0 or greater will be considered reactive and reflex to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody confirmatory test by line immunoassay (HCVL / Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Confirmation, Serum) at an additional charge. Additional testing is needed to differentiate between past (resolved) and chronic hepatitis C.


A negative screening test result does not exclude the possibility of exposure to or infection with HCV. Negative screening test results in individuals with prior exposure to HCV may be due to antibody levels below the limit of detection of this assay or lack of reactivity to the HCV antigens used in this assay. Patients with recent HCV infections (<3 months from time of exposure) may have false-negative HCV antibody results due to the time needed for seroconversion (average of 8 to 9 weeks).

Clinical Reference

1. Carithers RL, Marquardt A, Gretch DR: Diagnostic testing for hepatitis C. Semin Liver Dis. 2000;20(2):159-171

2. Pawlotsky JM: Use and interpretation of virological tests for hepatitis C. Hepatology. 2002;36:S65-S73

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Testing for HCV infection: an update of guidance for clinicians and laboratorians. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 May 10;62(18)362-365

Analytic Time

1 day

Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
HCVL HCV Ab Confirmation, S Yes No

Testing Algorithm

If screen is reactive, then confirmation will be performed at an additional charge.


See Hepatitis C: Testing Algorithm for Screening and Diagnosis in Special Instructions.

Method Name

Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Gastroenterology and Hepatology Client Test Request (T728) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Gastroenterology Catalog Additional Information: