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Antibody; Bartonella

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody; Bartonella Test


The Bartonella antibody test is a blood test used to detect antibodies against Bartonella bacteria, which are responsible for causing Bartonellosis. This test helps in diagnosing infections caused by various Bartonella species.


The medical condition or problem it addresses:

  • Bartonella infections, including Cat Scratch Disease, Trench Fever, and Carrion's Disease.
  • Identifying Bartonella as a cause of symptoms like fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.

The goals or expected outcomes of the procedure:

  • To confirm or rule out a Bartonella infection.
  • To help guide appropriate treatment.


Specific symptoms or conditions that warrant the procedure:

  • Unexplained prolonged fever.
  • Swollen lymph nodes, especially after a cat scratch or bite.
  • Persistent fatigue and muscle pain.
  • Symptoms suggestive of trench fever or Carrion’s disease in at-risk populations.

Patient criteria or factors that make the procedure appropriate:

  • History of cat exposure.
  • Exposure to lice or fleas.
  • Symptoms unresponsive to initial treatments.


Pre-procedure instructions for the patient:

  • Generally, no specific preparation is needed.
  • Inform the doctor about current medications as some might interfere with blood test results.

Any diagnostic tests or assessments required beforehand:

  • None specific, but a thorough clinical examination and history review are essential.

Procedure Description

Detailed step-by-step explanation of what the procedure involves:

  1. A healthcare provider will clean the area where the blood will be drawn, usually a vein in your arm.
  2. A tourniquet is placed around the upper arm to fill the veins with blood.
  3. A needle is inserted into the vein to draw blood into a vial or syringe.
  4. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Tools, equipment, or technology used:

  • Tourniquet, needle, vials or syringes, antiseptic wipes, blood collection tube.

Anesthesia or sedation details, if applicable:

  • None required. It’s a straightforward blood draw.


How long the procedure typically takes:

  • The blood draw itself usually takes about 5-10 minutes.


Where the procedure is performed:

  • Hospital, outpatient clinic, or doctor's office.


Healthcare professionals involved:

  • Phlebotomist or nurse to draw the blood.
  • Laboratory technicians to perform the analysis.
  • Physician to interpret the results.

Risks and Complications

Common and rare risks associated with the procedure:

  • Minor risks such as bruising or slight bleeding at the puncture site.
  • Rarely, infection at the puncture site or fainting.

Possible complications and their management:

  • Applying pressure and a bandage can typically manage bruising.
  • If infection is suspected, antibiotics may be prescribed.


Expected benefits and how soon they might be realized:

  • Accurate diagnosis of Bartonella infection.
  • Appropriate treatment plan initiation usually follows within a few days of test completion.


Post-procedure care and instructions:

  • Keep the puncture site clean and dry.
  • Avoid heavy lifting with the arm that the blood was drawn from for a few hours.

Expected recovery time and any restrictions or follow-up appointments:

  • No significant recovery time required.
  • Follow-up visit with the doctor to discuss the test results.


Other treatment options available:

  • Clinical diagnosis and treatment based on symptoms without the specific antibody test.
  • Blood cultures or PCR tests to detect Bartonella DNA.

Pros and cons of alternatives compared to the described procedure:

  • PCR tests are more definitive but costly.
  • Blood cultures take longer but can give detailed information about the strain.

Patient Experience

What the patient might feel or experience during and after the procedure:

  • A mild pinch or sting during the needle insertion.
  • Possible minor discomfort or bruising afterward.

Pain management and comfort measures:

  • Most patients experience minimal pain; over-the-counter pain relief can be used if necessary.
  • Applying ice to the puncture site can reduce swelling and discomfort.