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Antibody; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody Testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])


Antibody testing for COVID-19 involves taking a blood sample to detect the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This test helps determine if a person has been previously infected with the virus and has developed an immune response.


The procedure addresses the detection of past infection with SARS-CoV-2. The goals are to identify individuals who have developed antibodies, understand the spread of the virus within a community, and potentially identify those who may have some level of immunity.


  • Symptoms of COVID-19 infection in the past.
  • Exposure to someone confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Participation in research studies or public health surveillance.
  • Individuals needing to confirm past infection for medical or employment reasons.


  • No specific preparation is needed.
  • Inform the healthcare provider of any medications or health conditions.
  • Stay hydrated and wear loose clothing to allow easy access to the arm for blood draw.

Procedure Description

  1. The patient will be seated comfortably, and a tourniquet will be applied to the upper arm.
  2. The site of blood draw (typically the inside of the elbow) will be cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
  3. A needle will be inserted into a vein to collect a blood sample into a tube.
  4. The needle is removed, pressure is applied to the site to stop any bleeding, and a bandage is applied.
  5. The blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis to detect the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


The blood draw typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Lab results may be available within a few days.


The procedure is usually performed in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or diagnostic lab.


  • Phlebotomist or nurse for blood draw.
  • Laboratory technicians for antibody analysis.
  • Ordering physician or healthcare provider to interpret results.

Risks and Complications

  • Minor bruising or bleeding at the blood draw site.
  • Rarely, dizziness or fainting.
  • Infection at the puncture site, though this is very uncommon.


  • Identifies past infection with COVID-19.
  • Helps understand individual and community-level immunity.
  • Inform personal health decisions and public health strategies.


  • No significant recovery time is needed.
  • Patients can typically resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.
  • Report any prolonged discomfort or signs of infection at the puncture site to a healthcare provider.


  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for current infection.
  • Antigen tests for detecting active virus presence.
  • Each alternative has its own advantages: PCR and antigen tests are used to diagnose active infections, whereas antibody tests are for determining past infection.

Patient Experience

  • Patients may feel a brief pinch or sting when the needle is inserted.
  • Mild discomfort may occur at the puncture site.
  • Any discomfort is usually minimal and temporary.
  • If anxious or uncomfortable, patients should inform the healthcare provider for additional comfort measures.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Antibody; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

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