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Test Code 402 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Important Note

There is some support in the literature that nasopharyngeal wash and aspirate collection techniques tend to generate superior specimens in terms of sensitivity.

Sure-Vue RSV antigen test kit is a visual and rapid assay for the qualitative detection of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) antigen directly from nasopharyngeal specimens in neonatal and pediatric patients.

Additional Codes


MA Cerner: RSV Enzyme Immunoassay.

Specimen Requirement

Nasopharyngeal washes are the preferred specimen. Nasopharyngeal aspirates, swabs, as well as tracheal aspirates are also acceptable specimens.

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Specimens to be assayed are obtained by standard methods for the collection of nasopharygeal washes, aspirates and swabs, as well as tracheal aspirates. Lab personnel are not responsible for collecting specimens. This is a nurse or physician collected specimen.

  • Nasopharyngeal (npg) wash:     
  1. Tip the patient's head back to approximately a 70° angle.
  2. Using a syringe or suction bulb, dispense 1 to 2 mL of 0.9% saline (available from the hospital pharmacy) into the nasopharynx via the nostril.
  3. Using a syringe, suction bulb or specimen trap (as in the aspiration method), suction out the fluid immediately.
  4. NPG wash specimens of 2 to 4 ml are recommended.
  • Nasopharyngeal (npg) aspirate:     
    (this procedure is used if sufficient mucous is not obtained using the wash method.)
  1. Mucous is obtained by suction into a specimen vacuum trap. (Traps are available through institutions supplying dept.)
  2. The tube from the trap is placed into the nostril and back into the nasopharyngeal area of the nasal cavity.
  3. Suction is applied to the other tube on the trap.
  4. The mucous is aspirated and trapped in the central specimen container.
  5. 0.5 to 1.0 mL of mucous is required.
  • Nasopharyngeal swab:
  1. Make sure that the patient has no anatomic abnormalities of the nose [deviated septum].
  2. Using the Nasopharyngeal Rayon or SP Polyester Fiber Tipped Applicator Swab and without contaminating the tip, curve the wire of the npg swab to the shape of the nasal passage.
  3. Tilt the patient's head back, pass the swab gently through the nose into the nasopharynx, rotate, and remove.
  4. Return the swab to the package.

Label specimen(s) appropriately with two identifiers, patient’s name and another identifier (patient ID number, DOB, etc.), include specimen source, date and time of collection. Transport specimen to the laboratory as rapidly as possible. When necessary, the specimen may be stored refrigerated. If storage time is to exceed 24 hours freeze the specimen. Transport to the testing site as soon as possible.

Useful For

Aiding in the diagnosis of a recent respiratory syncytial virus infection


Performed Monday through Sunday.

Routine: Typically completed within 4 hours after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

STAT: Typically completed within 1 hour after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

CPT Code Information

87420 Enzyme Immunoassay Technique by Organism: Infectious agent antigen detection by enzyme immunoassay technique, qualitative or semiquantitative, multiple step method; respiratory syncytial virus

LOINC Code Information

33045-6 Respiratory Syncytial Virus Ag [Presence] In Nose

Test Method

Immunochromatographic Sandwich Assay; Sure-Vue, Fisher Healthcare

Reference Values