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Immunodiffusion; not elsewhere specified

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Immunodiffusion; not elsewhere specified
Common Name(s): Immunodiffusion
Technical Terms: Ouchterlony double diffusion assay, Radial immunodiffusion


Immunodiffusion is a laboratory technique used to measure and analyze antigen-antibody interactions by observing patterns formed as the substances diffuse through a gel.


Medical Conditions Addressed:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Protein deficiencies

Goals/Expected Outcomes:

  • Identification of specific antibodies or antigens in a sample
  • Evaluation of immune responses
  • Diagnostic clarification of certain diseases


Specific Symptoms or Conditions:

  • Unexplained infections
  • Suspected autoimmune disorders
  • Protein deficiencies

    Patient Criteria:

  • Presence of symptoms indicating immune system abnormalities
  • Clinical suspicion based on medical history and physical examination


Pre-procedure Instructions:

  • No special preparation required for the patient

Diagnostic Tests or Assessments:

  • Blood sample collection may be required for the procedure

Procedure Description

The procedure involves placing antigens and antibodies in separate wells within a gel matrix. As they diffuse towards each other, they form a precipitin line where they meet if they are specific to each other.

Tools, Equipment, Technology:

  • Agar or agarose gel plates
  • Micro-pipettes
  • Antigen and antibody solutions

Anesthesia or Sedation:

  • Not applicable


Typically, the immunodiffusion procedure itself takes a few hours; however, complete results may take 24 to 48 hours as diffusion occurs.


This procedure is usually performed in a laboratory setting.


  • Laboratory technicians
  • Clinical pathologists

Risks and Complications

Common Risks:

  • Minimal risk as it involves only handling of samples

Rare Risks:

  • Potential for sample contamination leading to inaccurate results

Management of Complications:

  • Follow strict laboratory protocols to prevent contamination


Expected Benefits:

  • Accurate identification and quantification of antigens or antibodies
  • Better diagnosis of immune-related conditions

Realization Timeframe:

  • Results are usually available within 1-2 days


Post-procedure Care:

  • No specific care required post-procedure

Expected Recovery Time:

  • Not applicable as it is a laboratory test

Restrictions or Follow-up:

  • No restrictions; follow-up depends on test results


Other Treatment Options:

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Western Blotting

Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

  • ELISA: More quantitative, but requires more sophisticated equipment
  • Western Blotting: Highly specific, but more complex and time-consuming

Patient Experience

During the Procedure:

  • Not applicable since no patient involvement is required beyond sample collection

After the Procedure:

  • Minimal discomfort if a blood sample is taken
  • No pain associated with the immunodiffusion process directly

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