Ordering Recommendation

Not generally recommended. If acute and/or active herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is suspected, molecular testing is preferred; refer to Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1/HSV-2) Subtype by PCR (2010095). If pursuing antibody testing, refer to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Glycoprotein G-Specific Antibody, IgG by ELISA, CSF (0050379) and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Glycoprotein G-Specific Antibody, IgG by ELISA, CSF (0050359).




Semi-Quantitative Chemiluminescent Immunoassay




Within 24 hours

New York DOH Approval Status

Specimens from New York clients will be sent out to a New York DOH approved laboratory, if possible.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation


Specimen Preparation

Transfer 1 mL CSF to an ARUP Standard Transport Tube. (Min: 0.5 mL)

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Specimens types other than CSF. Contaminated, heat-inactivated or hemolyzed specimens.


Indicate source on test request form.


Ambient: 8 hours; Refrigerated: 2 weeks; Frozen: 1 year

Reference Interval

0.89 IV or less Negative - No significant level of detectable HSV IgG antibody.
0.90-1.09 IV Equivocal - Questionable presence of IgG antibodies. Repeat testing in 10-14 days may be helpful.
1.10 IV or greater Positive - IgG antibody to HSV detected which may indicate a current or past HSV infection.

Interpretive Data

The detection of antibodies to herpes simplex virus in CSF may indicate central nervous system infection. However, consideration must be given to possible contamination by blood or transfer of serum antibodies across the blood-brain barrier.

Fourfold or greater rise in CSF antibodies to herpes on specimens at least 4 weeks apart are found in 74-94% of patients with herpes encephalitis.  Specificity of the test based on a single CSF testing is not established.  Presently PCR is the primary means of establishing a diagnosis of herpes encephalitis.

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. It has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This test was performed in a CLIA certified laboratory and is intended for clinical purposes.

Compliance Category

Laboratory Developed Test (LDT)


Hotline History


CPT Codes



Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0050394 HSV 1/2 Antibody Screen IgG, CSF 13249-8
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Herpes Simplex Antibodies, IgG
  • Herpes Simplex Serology, Serum HSV 1,2
  • HSV 1, 2 IgG
  • HSV 1,2
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and/or 2 Antibodies, IgG, CSF