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Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) (pregnancy)

Category Biochemistry
Test background

The role of hCG in pregnancy is to prevent luteolysis and maintain progesterone synthesis. Early pregnancy testing is based on the detection or measurement of hCG in urine (pregnancy test) or serum. It increases rapidly during the first few weeks and peaks at about 10 weeks. A doubling time of ≥ 7 days has a very high predictive value for ectopic pregnancy.

Clinical Indications

Detection of pregnancy (in this context urine testing is the preferred method of assessment)
Suspected pregnancy (oligomenorrhoea, hyperprolactinaemia, etc.)
Diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
Diagnosis and monitoring of miscarriage

Reference range

Blood: <5 IU/L

Sample & container required SST (gold top)
Sample volume 0.5 mL
Turnaround time 1 day