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Antibody; herpes simplex, type 1

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody; Herpes Simplex, Type 1 (HSV-1 Antibody Test)


The HSV-1 Antibody Test is a blood test used to detect the presence of antibodies against the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). This test helps determine if a person has been exposed to the virus, which is often responsible for cold sores and oral herpes.


The HSV-1 Antibody Test is used to diagnose a past or current HSV-1 infection. It helps in understanding if a patient’s symptoms are due to HSV-1 and can guide appropriate treatment and management.


  • Recurring cold sores or oral lesions
  • Symptoms consistent with genital herpes
  • Unexplained oral or facial blistering
  • Part of routine screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in at-risk populations
  • Evaluation of immune response following a suspected herpes infection


  • No special preparation is required for the HSV-1 Antibody Test.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any medications or supplements you are taking.

Procedure Description

  1. Blood Draw: A healthcare professional will use a needle to draw a small sample of blood from a vein, usually in the arm.
  2. Sample Processing: The blood sample is sent to a laboratory where it is tested for the presence of HSV-1 antibodies using methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
  3. Results: The laboratory analyzes the sample and sends the results back to the healthcare provider who will interpret them.


The blood draw typically takes a few minutes. Laboratory analysis may take a few days to a week.


The blood draw is performed in a healthcare provider’s office, clinic, or hospital.


  • Phlebotomist or nurse to draw blood
  • Laboratory technicians to process and analyze the blood sample
  • Healthcare provider to interpret results

Risks and Complications

  • Common: Minor discomfort or bruising at the site of blood draw
  • Rare: Infection at the needle site, light-headedness or fainting during blood draw


  • Diagnosis: Accurately determines HSV-1 exposure and helps in managing symptoms.
  • Peace of Mind: Provides information on HSV-1 status, which can guide treatment and preventive measures.


  • Post-procedure Care: Minimal care is needed after the blood draw. Patients can resume normal activities immediately.
  • Follow-up: Patients should discuss the results with their healthcare provider for further management plans.


  • Other Tests: PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests, viral culture, or direct fluorescent antibody tests from lesions.
  • Pros and Cons: Blood tests are less invasive and can detect past infections, while PCR and cultures are more specific for active infections.

Patient Experience

  • During the Procedure: Mild discomfort at the site of the blood draw, usually lasting only a few seconds.
  • After the Procedure: Some patients may experience a small bruise or tender area at the blood draw site, which typically resolves quickly. Pain management is usually not necessary, but over-the-counter pain relief can be used if needed.

Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and to address any concerns regarding the procedure.

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