Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a type of test that can identify specific types of genetic material (DNA) in a small sample.
PCR is useful for many purposes, such as for:
PCR works by taking a small sample containing DNA and using an enzyme called a polymerase to make many copies of that DNA. The process of copying the DNA is done in cycles that are repeated up to 30 times or more. Millions or even billions of copies of the DNA may be made during PCR.
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise