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Heterophile antibodies; titer

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Heterophile Antibodies; Titer
Common name: Monospot Test


The Heterophile Antibodies; Titer test, commonly known as the Monospot Test, is a blood test used to help diagnose infectious mononucleosis (often called "mono" or the "kissing disease") caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It detects specific heterophile antibodies produced in response to the infection.


The test is designed to quickly identify an ongoing Epstein-Barr virus infection. It helps confirm a diagnosis based on symptoms and eliminates the need for more invasive or time-consuming tests.


  • Persistent fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache and body aches
  • Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen)

Patients exhibiting these symptoms may be advised to take this test to confirm the presence of infectious mononucleosis.


No special preparations are typically required for the Monospot Test. Patients should inform their healthcare provider about any medications they are currently taking as some drugs can affect the results.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional will clean the patient's skin with an antiseptic where the blood sample will be drawn.
  2. A needle is inserted into a vein in the arm.
  3. Blood is drawn into a vial or syringe.
  4. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis, where it’s mixed with certain reagents to detect heterophile antibodies.


The blood draw itself typically takes less than 5 minutes. The test results may be available within a few hours to a day.


The procedure is usually performed in a healthcare provider’s office, outpatient clinic, or hospital laboratory.


  • Phlebotomist or nurse for conducting the blood draw
  • Laboratory technician for analyzing the sample
  • Primary care physician or specialist for interpreting the results

Risks and Complications

  • Minor pain or discomfort at the blood draw site
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Rarely, infection at the puncture site


  • Quick and relatively reliable diagnosis of mononucleosis
  • Helps to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms
  • Non-invasive and can be performed in most medical settings


There is no recovery time needed. Patients can return to normal activities immediately after the blood draw. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities with the arm used for the blood draw for the remainder of the day.


  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) antibody test: More specific but also more expensive and time-consuming.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): Can indicate an infection but not specifically diagnose mono.
  • Throat culture: To rule out bacterial infections that may mimic mono symptoms.

Patient Experience

The patient may feel a small prick when the needle is inserted. Some might experience a slight throbbing or bruise at the puncture site afterward. Comfort measures like applying pressure to the puncture site immediately after the draw can minimize bruising.

Pain is generally minimal and the procedure is well-tolerated.

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