How the Test is Performed
The test depends on what type of sample is needed.
- For a urine sample, see urine collection -- clean catch or urine collection (infants).
- For a blood sample, see venipuncture.
- For a cerebrospinal fluid sample, see CSF collection.
The sample is sent to a lab, where it is mixed with latex beads coated with a specific antibody or antigen. If the suspected substance is present, the latex beads will clump together (agglutinate).
Latex agglutination results take about 15 minutes to an hour.
How to Prepare for the Test
Your health care provider may tell you to limit certain foods or medications shortly before the test to ensure accurate test results.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is a quick way to determine the absence or presence of an antigen or antibody. Your health care provider will base any treatment decisions, at least in part, on the results of this test.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
If there is an antigen-antibody match, agglutination will occur.
Ashihara Y, Kasahara Y, Nakamura RM. Immunoassays and immunochemistry. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods
Update Date 8/19/2013
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.