How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in
your arm or from your fingertip. You may feel nothing at all from the needle or
lancet, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch. The elastic band that is
wrapped around your upper arm when blood is taken from a vein may feel
There is very little chance of a problem from
having a blood sample taken from your fingertip or a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You can
lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the
blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be
used several times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a
problem for people who have bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and
other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your doctor before your blood sample is taken.
Mononucleosis tests are blood tests to
antibodies that indicate mononucleosis (mono), which is usually caused by the
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The antibodies are made by
immune system to fight an infection.
The results of a monospot test are
usually ready within 1 hour.
The blood sample does not
form clumps (no heterophil
antibodies are detected).
The blood sample clumps
(heterophil antibodies are detected). If the blood sample clumps, you probably
have mono. Other diseases that can cause blood to clump in this test include
Epstein-Barr antibody testing
The results of the
antibody test to detect
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may be reported as
positive (antibodies are present) or negative (antibodies are not present). Or the test results may be reported in
titers. A titer is a measure of how much the blood
sample can be diluted before the antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus
(EBV) can no longer be detected.
The EBV antibody test can also detect the type of antibodies
(immunoglobulins) present in the blood. The type of antibody shows whether
the infection is recent or old. The antibody IgM is only found during the
active phase of mono. The antibody IgG can be found later, when you are
starting to get better.
The results of an EBV antibody test are
usually ready within 3 days.
EBV antibody test
The titer is less than 1 to
10 (1:10). A titer of less than
1:10 means that you have never been exposed to EBV.
is present. If IgG is present, it may mean that you have been exposed to EBV in
A titer greater than 1 to
10 (1:10) usually means that you have
been infected with EBV at some time. But other diseases
that can cause a positive result include some types of cancer, such as
A titer of 1:320 or greater means that you have an
active EBV infection (mononucleosis).
present. IgG may also be present but may mean that you have been exposed to EBV
in the past.