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Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody (FTA), Serum

Updated

10/2/2009

Other Names
Treponema pallidum antibody, Syphilis, FTA-ABS (DS)
How to Order
Check the FTA-ABS (DS) box on the Virology/Immunology Request (Form 42)
Availability All Clients
Methodology
Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA) Stain
Performed Tuesdays
Time to Reporting Results released on day of test
CPT Code
86780


Specimen Collection Details

Collection
One 7 ml red top tube or serum separator tube (SST)
Optimal Volume Blood: 5 ml; Serum 1.0 ml
Minimum Volume Blood: 3 ml; Serum 0.5 ml
Handling
 After blood clots, keep specimen refrigerated until transport. DO NOT FREEZE. If possible remove the serum from the clot as soon as possible. Sample must be tested within 7 days of collection. 
Transport
Refrigerated at 2-8° C.
Rejection Criteria CSF specimens, specimens contaminated with bacteria, lipemic specimens, hemolytic specimens, and specimens that have been frozen and thawed more than once will be rejected.
Comments
The FTA test is recommended for follow-up of reactive non-treponemal tests for syphilis (e.g. the RPR), and as a single test in patients suspected of late syphilis. Inconclusive final reports indicate the initial specimen submitted has been tested twice and cannot be interpreted as either reactive or nonreactive. If it is the second specimen submitted on a patient and the report is again inconclusive, it is impossible to state definitively that the patient does or does not have syphilitic infection.