Interpretive Handbook

Test 80786 :
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) RNA Detection by In Situ Hybridization

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with certain malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinomas. Latent EBV infection of human tissues results in the expression of Epstein-Barr early RNA (EBER) in infected cells, which can be detected by in situ hybridization assays using oligonucleotide probes in paraffin sections.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Diagnosis of latent Epstein-Barr virus infection


Supporting the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A positive reaction results in blue nuclear staining in tissue sections.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

A negative result does rule out Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection or associated malignancies.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

This test, when not accompanied by a pathology consultation request, will be answered as either positive or negative.

If additional interpretation/analysis is needed, please request 70012 / Pathology Consultation along with this test.

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Wu TC, Mann RB, Epstein JI, et al: Abundant expression of EBER1 small nuclear RNA in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. A morphologically distinctive target for detection of Epstein-Barr virus in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded carcinoma specimens.  Am J Pathol 1991;138:1461-1469

2. Randhawa PS, Jaffe R, Demetris AJ, et al: The systemic distribution of Epstein-Barr virus genomes in fatal post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders. An in situ hybridization study. Am J Pathol 1991;138:1027-1033

3. Chang KL, Chen YY, Shibata D, Weiss LM: Description of an in situ hybridization methodology for detection of Epstein-Barr Virus RNA in paraffin-embedded tissues, with a survey of normal and neoplastic tissues. Diagn Mol Pathol 1992;1:246-255