Pneumocystis jiroveci by PCR : 1016400

Test Code
PJPCR or 1016400

Alias/See Also
PCP; Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia

CPT Codes

Respiratory specimens: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), bronchial wash (BW), and sputum.

Transport Container
Transfer 2 mL respiratory specimen (Min: 0.5 mL) to a sterile container.

Also acceptable: Transfer 2 mL respiratory specimen to viral transport media (M4/M5 or UTM).

Transport Temperature

Specimen Stability
Ambient: 24 hours; Refrigerated: 7 days; Frozen: 1 month

Qualitative Polymerase Chain Reaction

Setup Schedule
Tuesday & Friday

Report Available
2-5 days

Reference Range
Target Not Detected

Clinical Significance
Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly Pneumocystis carinii) is a fungus that causes opportunistic infections, particularly pneumonia, in patients with impaired immunity. Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is the most prevalent opportunistic infection in patients with AIDS. Likewise, patients receiving immunosuppressive medication, patients with hematological or solid malignancies, transplant recipients and those with an altered immune system are also at risk of contracting PCP.

Symptoms of PCP range from dyspnea and dry cough to acute respiratory failure. Increasing evidence of human-to-human transmission supports an early diagnosis of the disease to ensure treatment with appropriate antibiotics.

P. jiroveci cannot be cultured in the laboratory. Classical diagnosis is based on the microscopic examination of respiratory specimens using fluorescent stains or antibodies. Unfortunately, stains often lack sensitivity and are subjective based on the technical expertise of the reader. This real-time PCR assay provides sensitive, specific, and objective detection of P. jiroveci from respiratory specimens.

Test results should be used as an aid in diagnosis and should not be considered diagnostic in themselves. The literature indicates that Pneumocystis can cause asymptomatic colonization of healthy and immunocompromised individuals. Therefore, test results should be correlated with patient symptoms and clinical presentation.

Performing Laboratory
med fusion

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.