Lyme Antibody IgM

CPT: 86617

Expected Turnaround Time

24 Hours

Turnaround time is defined as the usual number of days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to when the result is released to the ordering provider. In some cases, additional time should be allowed for additional confirmatory or additional reflex tests. Testing schedules may vary.

Specimen Requirements




SST (Serum)

Storage Instructions

Room Temp., Refrigerated (2-8 C)

Stability Requirements

Room temp. and Refrigerated upto 7 days

Test Details

Additional Information

A Lyme disease antibody IgM test measures the level of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in the blood that the body produces to fight the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. IgM antibodies appear early in the infection, but levels typically decline over time. As a result, tests that rely on IgM antibodies may only be positive for two to six weeks after exposure. These antibodies usually disappear after eight weeks post-exposure.   

According to the CDC, a positive IgM test alone is not recommended for determining active Lyme disease in people who have been sick for more than a month. This is because the likelihood of a false positive is high for people with longer illnesses. IgM antibodies are generally considered a marker of an acute illness, but they can persist in the blood for years, even after a person has been cured of Lyme disease. False positives can also occur if a person has other conditions, such as lupus, HIV, syphilis, Helicobacter pylori bacteria, or the Epstein-Barr virus. 

Instead, the CDC recommends a two-tiered test that involves both IgM and IgG antibodies. If the initial blood test is positive for either antibody, a second test is performed using different laboratory methods. Testing for both antibodies can help determine if a person has been exposed to Borrelia bacteria, but it doesn’t necessarily prove that they have Lyme disease. 


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease: Diagnosis and testing. Updated November 20, 2019. Accessed April 15, 2021. 
  2. Hu L. Patient education: Lyme disease symptoms and diagnosis (beyond the basics). In: Steere AC, ed. UpToDate. Updated June 15, 2020. Accessed April 15, 2021. 

Statement on Medical Necessity
All ordered tests should be medically necessary for the diagnosis or detection of disease, illness, impairment, symptom, syndrome, or disorder and the results should be used in the medical management and treatment decisions for the patient. Solaris requires ICD-10 codes with each order for lab testing and both the tests ordered and the diagnosis should be documented in the provider’s medical record for the patient. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, takes the position that a provider who orders medically unnecessary tests may be subject to civil penalties.

Panels and Profiles
Solaris offers Providers the convenience of ordering test combinations in a group at times with the flexibility to choose appropriate test(s) for individual patients. Providers should only order those tests that he or she believes are medically necessary for each patient, and a lesser inclusive profile or individual tests should be ordered if not all tests in the test combination/profile are medically necessary. All tests offered in a test combination/profile may be ordered separately as individual tests. Solaris encourages clients to contact their Solaris representative if the testing configurations shown do not meet individual needs for any reason, or if some other combination of procedures is needed.

CPT Codes
CPT Codes listed are in accordance with Current Procedural Terminology, a publication of the American Medical Association. CPT codes are the responsibility of the billing party and are listed here for informational purposes. Correct coding may vary from one carrier to another. Solaris may bill specific carriers using codes other than what is shown.


For questions or inquiries related to testing please reach out to or contact us by phone at (844) 550-0308.