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Test ID SCOVT Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), RNA Detection, ddPCR, Tissue

Necessary Information

Specimen source is required.

Specimen Required

Specimen Type: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.

Sources: Lung tissue, sputum (cell block), tracheal aspirate (cell block), bronchoalveolar fluid (cell block), cardiac tissue, brain tissue, kidney tissue, other



Specimen Type: Tissue

Container/Tube: Tissue block

Collection Instructions: Submit a formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue block.



Specimen Type: Tissue

Container/Tube: Slides

Specimen Volume: 5 unstained

Collection Instructions: Submit 5 unstained, non-baked slides with 10-micron thick sections of tissue, preferably along with an Hematoxylin and Eosin slide (not required).



Specimen Type: Tissue

Container/Tube: Scrolls

Specimen Volume: 5 scrolls

Collection Instructions: Submit 5 scrolls of FFPE tissue cut at 10 microns thick, preferably along with an H&E slide (not required).

Useful For

Detection of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue

Method Name

Droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (ddPCR)

Reporting Name


Specimen Type


Specimen Minimum Volume

See Specimen Required

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Ambient (preferred)

Clinical Information

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Like other coronaviruses that infect humans, SARS-CoV-2 can cause both upper and lower respiratory tract illness. Symptoms can range from mild (ie, the common cold) to severe (ie, pneumonia) in both healthy and immunocompromised patients. SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs primarily via respiratory droplets. As the disease progresses, the viral load tends to decrease in the upper respiratory tract, at which point, lower respiratory tract specimens (eg, sputum, tracheal aspirate, bronchoalveolar fluid, transbronchial biopsy, wedge biopsy of lung, autopsy lung specimen) would be more likely to have detectable SARS-CoV-2. Infection of other tissue has been reported.


The SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue by droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) assay will be used to detect the nucleocapsid N1 and N2 target sequences of SARS-CoV-2 virus in FFPE surgical and autopsy tissue. The identification of SARS-CoV-2 in surgical tissue may aid in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and may lead to a better understanding of unusual disease presentations. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in deceased patients (autopsy tissue) may similarly confirm a suspected diagnosis among individuals with clinical or pathologic manifestations of COVID-19 (ie, pulmonary, cardiac) and may increase understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathobiology.


This test will be reported as positive, negative, or indeterminate. An "indeterminate" result indicates that the presence or absence of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 RNA) in the specimen could not be determined with certainty after repeated testing in the laboratory. This could be due to reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) inhibition or very low viral load. Submission of a new specimen for testing is recommended.


Test results should always be considered in the context of patient's clinical history, physical examination, and epidemiologic exposures when making the final diagnosis.

Clinical Reference

1. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, et al: A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb;382(8):727-733. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017

2. Holshue ML, DeBolt C, Lindquist S, et al: First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 5;382(10):929-936. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001191

3. Loeffelholz MJ, Tang YW: Laboratory diagnosis of emerging human coronavirus infections-the state of the art. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020;9(1):747-756.

4. Liu X, Feng J, Zhang Q, et al: Analytical comparisons of SARS-COV-2 detection by qRT-PCR and ddPCR with multiple primer/probe sets. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):1175-1179

5. Suo T, Liu X, Feng J, et al: ddPCR: a more accurate tool for SARS-CoV-2 detection in low viral load specimens. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):1259-1268

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
SCOVT SARS CoV-2 RNA ddPCR, Qual, FFPE 94316-7


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
610691 Result 94316-7
610692 Additional Information 94736-6
MG141 SARS CoV-2 Specimen Source 31208-2
610693 Method 85069-3
610694 Disclaimer 62364-5

Reference Values

Not applicable

Day(s) Performed


Report Available

7 to 10 days