What is a CMV blood test?

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CMV blood test refers to a blood test to check if a person is infected with the cytomegalovirus.  This type of virus is commonly spread among people of all ages but may not present any serious symptoms at all.  Most people will also get infected with this virus and not really know about it.  For people that experience symptoms or for cases where in cytomegalovirus infection is suspected, they may need to have a CMV blood test.

During the CMV blood test, a blood sample will be extracted and studied in the laboratory for the presence of substances that are produced by the cytomegalovirus.  In most cases, patients will be prescribed with the CMV DNA serum or PCR type of blood test.  This type of blood test will basically try to check if the patient’s body is producing unusual number of antibodies to fight the cytomegalovirus.  If there are antibodies or similar protein substances present in the blood, then the person is considered to have been infected of the cytomegalovirus.  In the case of pregnant women who test positive on a CMV blood test, doctors may advise them to undergo other laboratory tests to check if the infection has spread to the unborn babies.  When cytomegalovirus is found during pregnancy, there is a great chance that it could also affect the unborn child. The procedure involved in this situation is called amniocentesis and it refers to the extraction of the pregnant woman’s amniotic fluid to check the presence of CMV.  This particular procedure is very delicate which is why doctors need to check the risks involved before subjecting pregnant women to the procedure.

For most people, infection with cytomegalovirus does not present any symptoms at all.  Those with weak immune systems and some children may experience fever, weakness, and enlarged lymph nodes. Some people may also have skin rashes, muscle aches and pains, and sore throat.  Extreme and rare cases may result to some swelling in the liver and spleen resulting to jaundice.  With these symptoms, immediate medical attention is needed and a CMV blood test is typically prescribed for diagnosis.

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