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VDRL TEST

About the test
What is this test done for?
This non treponemal serological test is for screening the presence of antibodies against syphilis infection in patients.
Why is it Done?

It is done –

  • To detect if the patient is infected with syphilis.
  • To assess the response to the therapy for syphilis.
  • As an aid to diagnose congenital syphilis.
  • To detect the CNS involvement in syphilis.
When should it be performed?

As a prenatal check-up before pregnancy.

  • Positive history of untreated syphilis.
  • Non-documented treatment history. 
  • If the patient shows signs & symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases like gential ulcers, discharge, pain during intercourse, a small painless sore mainly on genitals.
  • Swollen lymph node near the sore.
  • Skin rash which does not itch.
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. Fasting is not required prior to sample collection.
Results

If antibodies are not detected, the result is Negative. This means –

  • a healthy uninfected person
  • Can also be during 1st & 3rd stage of the disease.

Positive results –

  • Definite infection with syphilis
  • False positive can be because of HIV infection, immunization, pregnancy, age related disease, malaria, certain pneumonia, and auto immune disorders like – SLE. Repeat test should be done after 1 month.
Other Tests
Since it is only indicative and not a definitive test, a confirmatory test like RPR test or FTA – ABS test is required.
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