Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Amniotic Fluid Test

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Amniotic Fluid Test

Eye & Vision
Digestive Health
Contributed byKrish Tangella MD, MBAAug 07, 2019

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • CMV Amniotic Fluid Test
  • CMV by PCR Amniotic Fluid Test
  • CMV IgG and IgM Antibodies Amniotic Fluid Test

What is Cytomegalovirus Amniotic Fluid Test? (Background Information)

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a type of herpes virus that may cause a flu-like disease. The virus is very common and occurs latently in most of the humans (about 60-80% of them), but remains inactive if the host immunity is strong and healthy
  • CMV can transfer from a mother to her unborn child. More often, CMV spreads through contact with infected individuals via body fluids or surfaces. After infection, CMV replicates in cells, damaging them and activating the immune system. This causes the flu-like symptoms
  • Occasionally, CMV may infect the intestines, causing bloody diarrhea. It may also infect the lungs, causing pneumonia; the brain, causing encephalitis; and the eyes, causing impaired vision and even blindness
  • CMV causes serious symptoms only in susceptible individuals. These include individuals with lowered or underdeveloped immune systems, such as the elderly, the young, people undergoing chemotherapy, and those with HIV infection. Disinfection and hand washing may minimize the risk
  • Individuals with healthy immune systems can typically control CMV infection by themselves. However, in cases of serious illness, drugs called viral polymerase inhibitors may be used
  • CMV goes into hibernation after it has completed the “active” part of its infection, which is characterized by symptoms. The virus infiltrates the DNA of cells and then lies dormant. It can emerge during times of stress or immune system suppression

The Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Amniotic Fluid Test detects the presence of CMV in the amniotic fluid. It does this in two different ways:

  • Detection of specific antibodies created by the immune system upon exposure to CMV: The presence of CMV-specific IgM antibodies indicates a recent or current exposure; CMV-specific IgG antibodies indicate a past exposure
  • Detection of genetic material belonging to CMV: A technique called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is used to detect traces of specific DNA that CMV is known to possess, but which is absent in humans

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Cytomegalovirus Amniotic Fluid Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Cytomegalovirus Amniotic Fluid Test:

  • Screening for CMV infection during pregnancy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Altered mental status
  • Visual problems
  • Enlarged liver or spleen

How is the Specimen Collected for Cytomegalovirus Amniotic Fluid Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Amniotic Fluid Test:

Sample required: Amniotic fluid

Process: Insertion of a needle into the abdomen (amniocentesis).

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Cytomegalovirus Amniotic Fluid Test Result?

A positive Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Amniotic Fluid Test may indicate infection by CMV.

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • CMV is a very common virus that is present in 50-85% of US adults under 40 years of age

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

  • The cytomegalovirus test is included in the TORCH panel of tests. The TORCH panel is a series of tests for common infections that can be transmitted from a mother to her unborn child. The others on the panel include toxoplasmosis, rubella, and herpes simplex type 2

The following article link will help you understand TORCH Panel Blood Test:

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:

Was this article helpful

On the Article

Krish Tangella MD, MBA picture
Approved by

Krish Tangella MD, MBA

Pathology, Medical Editorial Board, DoveMed Team


Please log in to post a comment.

Related Articles

Test Your Knowledge

Asked by users

Related Centers


Related Specialties

Loading card

Related Physicians

Related Procedures

Related Resources

Join DoveHubs

and connect with fellow professionals

Related Directories

Who we are

At DoveMed, our utmost priority is your well-being. We are an online medical resource dedicated to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information on a wide range of medical topics. But we're more than just an information hub - we genuinely care about your health journey. That's why we offer a variety of products tailored for both healthcare consumers and professionals, because we believe in empowering everyone involved in the care process.
Our mission is to create a user-friendly healthcare technology portal that helps you make better decisions about your overall health and well-being. We understand that navigating the complexities of healthcare can be overwhelming, so we strive to be a reliable and compassionate companion on your path to wellness.
As an impartial and trusted online resource, we connect healthcare seekers, physicians, and hospitals in a marketplace that promotes a higher quality, easy-to-use healthcare experience. You can trust that our content is unbiased and impartial, as it is trusted by physicians, researchers, and university professors around the globe. Importantly, we are not influenced or owned by any pharmaceutical, medical, or media companies. At DoveMed, we are a group of passionate individuals who deeply care about improving health and wellness for people everywhere. Your well-being is at the heart of everything we do.

© 2023 DoveMed. All rights reserved. It is not the intention of DoveMed to provide specific medical advice. DoveMed urges its users to consult a qualified healthcare professional for diagnosis and answers to their personal medical questions. Always call 911 (or your local emergency number) if you have a medical emergency!