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Important Note

Test subject to Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD).

See Medical Necessity documentation requirements by clicking on  

Medicare National Coverage Determinations under General Information

to left of this screen.

Performing Laboratory

Porter Hospital Laboratory

Specimen Requirements

Specimen Type: Blood
Container/Tube: Tiger top, serum gel
Also Acceptable: Green top (Lithium Heparin)
Specimen Volume: Full tube, submit 0.4 mL serum
Specimen Minimum Volume: 0.35 mL
Collection Instructions:
1. Send specimen in original tube.
2. If there is a delay in transport of >1 hour, centrifuge tube.
3. Centrifuged samples are stable for:
• 24 hours at room temperature
• 48 hours at 2-8 °C

Specimen Transport Temperature


Days Performed

Daily; Available STAT

Test Classification and CPT Coding


Normal Reference Values

The concentration of hCG rises rapidly during the first weeks of pregnancy, approximately doubling every two days. Low level hCG value of greater than or equal to 25 mIU/mL may be indicative of early pregnancy, but these results should always be evaluated in the context of the clinical situation, date of menstrual period, pelvic examination, and other clinical findings. When borderline results are encountered, patient samples should be redrawn 48 hours later.
A maximum level of 5,000 to 200,000 mIU/mL is reached at 10-12 weeks, followed by a slow decline to levels of 1,000 to 50,000 mIU/mL during the third trimester. A reduced or declining hCG level may indicate an abnormal pregnancy and additional follow-up testing and clinical evaluation should
occur. Throughout pregnancy, hCG level varies with
gestational age. See table below: .
Gestational Age hCG mIU/mL
0.2-1 week 5-50
1-2 weeks 50-500
2-3 weeks 100-5,000
3-4 weeks 500-10,000
4-5 weeks 1,000-50,000
5-6 weeks 10,000-100,000
6-8 weeks 15,000-200,000
2-3 months 10,000-100,000

Critical Values