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Antibody; encephalitis, St. Louis

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody Test for St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV)


This procedure involves taking a blood sample to test for antibodies against the St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), which is a type of brain infection caused by a virus transmitted through mosquito bites.


Addresses suspected St. Louis encephalitis. Aims to diagnose or rule out an infection caused by SLEV by detecting specific antibodies in the patient's blood.


Symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or confusion. A history of recent mosquito exposure in endemic areas. Neurological symptoms suggesting encephalitis.


No special preparation is usually required. Patients should inform their healthcare provider of any medications or existing conditions. Fasting is generally not necessary.

Procedure Description

A healthcare professional will use a needle to draw a blood sample, usually from a vein in the arm. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Serological tests (e.g., IgM and IgG antibody tests) detect the presence of SLEV antibodies.


The blood draw itself typically takes about 5-10 minutes. Laboratory analysis can take several days to a week.


Performed in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or medical laboratory.


Phlebotomist or nurse to draw the blood. Laboratory technicians to analyze the sample. A doctor to interpret the results.

Risks and Complications

Common risks: minor bruising or discomfort at the needle site. Rare risks: infection, significant bleeding, or dizziness.


Helps in the timely diagnosis of St. Louis encephalitis. Allows for appropriate medical intervention and management of symptoms. Can alleviate patient concerns by confirming or ruling out SLEV infection.


Minimal recovery involved; patients can usually resume normal activities immediately after the blood draw. Instructions may include keeping the bandage on for a few hours and avoiding strenuous activity with the affected arm.


Other diagnostic tests such as lumbar puncture (spinal tap) or imaging studies (MRI, CT scan). Pros: Other tests can provide additional information about brain inflammation. Cons: More invasive, higher risk, and potentially more uncomfortable procedures.

Patient Experience

Patients may feel a slight sting or pinch when the needle enters the skin. Mild discomfort or bruising at the needle site is common. Most patients do not require pain management, but any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

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