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Understanding Viral Load Assays for Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr Virus



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Interpreting Viral Loads

Slide 30

March 2010

The graph on the left is a theoretical example of 2 patients' viral load profiles plotted over time. Although we do not see any numbers on the Y axis, we can still make some interpretations from the trends that these viral loads show. Points to consider are the level of the first positive specimen, the highest viral load level detected, the rate of increase or decrease, and whether the patient is positive (and at what level) at the end of treatment. These variables, along with clinical presentation and other test results, can help a physician to determine: whether the patient might require a drug dosage adjustment, whether treatment should be extended, whether the virus might have become resistant to the medication, and estimate the risk recurrence of disease when the treatment ends.

Interpreting Viral Loads

 


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