Mono Qualitative (Heterophilic Antibody)

CPT: 86308

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


Serum, Plasma


SST (Serum), Red Top (Separate Serum), Lithium Heparin (Plasma), Sodium Heparin (Plasma), EDTA (Plasma)

Storage Instructions

Room Temp., Refrigerated (2-8 C)

Stability Requirements

Room temp. 5 days, Refrigerated 5 days

Test Details

Additional Information

The purpose of mono testing is to look for heterophile antibodies in the blood, which can confirm a diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis. 

Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious disease caused by a virus. EBV is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis, although other viruses can also cause this disease. Also known as human herpesvirus 4, EBV is a member of the herpes virus family. Mono is most common among teenagers and young adults. Approximately 25% of people infected with EBV develop infectious mononucleosis. 

A heterophile antibody test, also known as a mononucleosis test, is a rapid, inexpensive, and specific test that can be performed as soon as symptoms of infectious mononucleosis (mono) appear. The test detects the reaction of heterophile antibodies in a blood sample with antigens from horse or cow red blood cells. A positive test result indicates the presence of heterophile antibodies, which are usually a sign of mono. However, a small number of people with mono may never have a positive test. 

Heterophile antibodies appear in the serum of patients with mono by the sixth to tenth day of illness, with highest titersy usually found in the second to third week. Antibody levels may remain detectable for as little as one week or may persist up to a year, but usually persist for 4-8 weeks. In the first week after infection, 40 to 60% of patients with mono have heterophile antibodies, and by the third or fourth week after infection, 80 to 90% of patients have them.  


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About infectious mononucleosis. Updated September 28, 2020. Accessed September 8, 2021. 
  2. Stuempfig ND, Seroy J. Monospot Test. [Updated 2023 Aug 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from: 

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.