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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Brown clotted serum, gel barrier

TestHuman Chorionic Gonadotropin
Common AbbreviationsHCG
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier
Clinical IndicationHCG is used in the assessment of pregnancy status. During pregnancy, the levels of hCG increase exponentially for about 8 to 10 weeks after the last menstrual cycle. Later in pregnancy, about 12 weeks after conception, the hCG concentration begins to fall as the placenta begins to produce steroid hormones. Other sources of elevated hCG values are in ectopic pregnancy, threatened abortion, and recent termination of pregnancy. HCG is also used to monitor patients with gestational trophoblastic disease and in conjunction with alpha-fetoprotein for determining prognosis and monitoring patients with non-seminomatous germ cell tumours.
Specimen TypeBlood (Qualitative HCG test also available for plain urine)
Sample typeSerum
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability5 days at 20 - 25°C, 14 days at 2 - 8°C and 12 months at -20°C
Turnaround TimeUrgent: 2 hours Inpatient: 24 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalFemales pre-menopause: < or equal to 1 IU/L Females post-menopausal < or equal to 7 IU/L Males: <2 IU/L (Quoted by the manufacturer)
LimitationsAnalysis should not be performed on haemolysed, icteric or lipaemic samples. The assay is unaffected by biotin < 287 nmol/L or < 70 ng/mL. No interference was observed from rheumatoid factors up to a concentration of 1200 IU/mL. Samples should not be taken from patients receiving therapy with high biotin doses (i.e. > 5 mg/day) until at least 8 hours following the last biotin administration. In vitro tests were performed on 16 commonly used pharmaceuticals. No interference with the assay was found. In rare cases, interference due to extremely high titres of antibodies to analyte specific antibodies, streptavidin or ruthenium can occur.
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