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Laboratory Test Directory

Treponema pallidum Antibody, IgG by IFA (FTA ABS), Serum


Name Method Department Units
Fluorescent Trepenoma Pallidum Semi-Quantitative Indirect Fluorescent Antibody
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Specimen Requirements

Serum Spun

Container Type Container Size Specimen Volume

Red tube, (no anticoagulant), No Gel

3 mL 1 mL

Red Tube (no anticoagulant) with Gel

3 mL 1 mL

Gold tube, (SST) with Gel

3.5 mL 1 mL

Refrigerated - 2 week(s)
Frozen - 12 month(s)
Room temperature - 2 day(s)

Specimen Preparation

  • Centrifuge within 2 hours, separate supernatant and refrigerate
  • Avoid repeated freeze/thaw cycles

Reasons for Rejection

  • Wrong type of specimen
  • Wrong collection tube
  • Hemolyzed specimen
  • Plasma unacceptable
  • Contamination
  • Gross lipemia


Notes:The Fluorescent Treponema Antibody (FTA) is recommended for follow-up of reactive nontreponemal tests for syphilis, and as a single test in patients suspected of late syphilis. The FTA may be used to resolve discrepancies between laboratory results and clinical impressions. FTA tests for syphilis may be falsely positive in some cases of systemic lupus erythematosus, pregnancy, and leprosy.

The FTA test is not recommended for cerebrospinal fluid specimens. For CSF specimens, the VDRL CSF test is recommended. This test can be used to provide additional evidence of neurosyphilis when VDRL CSF test results are reactive.

CPT Code

  • 86780