Test Catalog

Test Id : THCG

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), Quantitative, Pregnancy, Serum

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Early detection of pregnancy


Investigation of suspected ectopic pregnancy or other pregnancy-related complications


Monitoring in vitro fertilization patients


This test is not useful for detecting or monitoring tumors or gestational trophoblastic disease.

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Electrochemiluminescent Immunoassay

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

HCG, Quantitative, Pregnancy, S

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

Beta-HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

CG (Chorionic Gonadotropin)

HCG Total OB

HCGB (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Beta Subunit)

Pregnancy Test

Total Chorionic Gonadotropin

Human Chorionic Gonadotropins (hCG)

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropins)

Gonadotropins, Chorionic

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


Ordering Guidance

For use as a tumor marker (eg, testicular cancer patients), see BHCG / Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Quantitative, Serum.

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Patient Preparation: For 12 hours before specimen collection do not take multivitamins or dietary supplements containing biotin (vitamin B7), which is commonly found in hair, skin, and nail supplements and multivitamins.

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Serum gel tubes should be centrifuged within 2 hours of collection.

2. Red-top tubes should be centrifuged and serum aliquoted into a plastic vial within 2 hours of collection.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the testing laboratory. The minimum volume is sufficient for one attempt at testing.

0.4 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Gross hemolysis Reject
Gross lipemia OK
Gross icterus Reject

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 72 hours
Frozen 365 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Early detection of pregnancy


Investigation of suspected ectopic pregnancy or other pregnancy-related complications


Monitoring in vitro fertilization patients


This test is not useful for detecting or monitoring tumors or gestational trophoblastic disease.

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone that consists of 2 subunits (alpha and beta chains) that are associated to comprise the intact hormone. The alpha subunit is similar to those of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and thyrotropin (formerly thyroid-stimulating hormone). The beta subunit of hCG differs from other pituitary glycoprotein hormones, which results in its unique biochemical and immunological properties. This method quantitates the sum of intact hCG plus the beta subunit.


hCG is produced in the placenta during pregnancy. In nonpregnant individuals, it can also be produced by tumors of the trophoblast, germ cell tumors with trophoblastic components, and some nontrophoblastic tumors. The biological action of hCG serves to maintain the corpus luteum during pregnancy. It also influences steroid production. The serum in pregnant individuals contains mainly intact hCG. Measurement of the hCG concentration permits the diagnosis of pregnancy as early as 1 week after conception.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Negative: <5 IU/L

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Values in pregnancy should double every 2 to 3 days for the first 6 weeks.


Elevated concentrations of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) measured in the first trimester of pregnancy are observed in normal pregnancy but may serve as an indication of chorionic carcinoma, hydatiform mole, or multiple pregnancy.


Decreasing hCG concentrations indicate threatened or missed abortion, recent termination of pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, gestosis, or intrauterine death.


Both normal and ectopic pregnancies generally yield positive results of pregnancy tests. The comparison of quantitative hCG measurements with the results of transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS) may aid in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. When an embryo is first large enough for the gestation sac to be visible on TVUS, the patient generally will have hCG concentrations between 1000 and 2000 IU/L. (These are literature values. Definitive values for this method have not been established at this time.) If the hCG value is this high and no sac is visible in the uterus, ectopic pregnancy is suggested. Elevated values will also be seen with choriocarcinoma and hydatiform mole.


Peri- and postmenopausal females may have detectable hCG concentrations (< or = to 14 IU/L) due to pituitary production of hCG. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone measurement may aid in ruling-out pregnancy in this population. Cutoffs of greater than 20 to 45 IU/L have been suggested and are method dependent.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

False elevations (called phantom human chorionic gonadotropin [hCG]) may occur with patients who have human anti-animal or heterophilic antibodies.


Some specimens may not dilute linearly due to abnormal forms of hCG.


Elevated hCG concentrations not associated with pregnancy are found in patients with other diseases such as tumors of the germ cells, ovaries, bladder, pancreas, stomach, lungs, and liver. However, this test is not intended for the detection of or to monitor for tumors or gestational trophoblastic disease.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Snyder JA, Haymond S, Parvin CA, et al: Diagnostic considerations in the measurement of human chorionic gonadotropin in aging women. Clin Chem. 2005 Oct;51(10):1830-1835. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2005.053595

2. Nerenz RD, Braga JA: Pregnancy and its disorders. In: Rifai N, Chiu RWK, Young I, Burnham ACD, Wittwer CT eds. Tietz Textbook of Laboratory Medicine. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2023:chap 59

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

This method employs 2 monoclonal antibodies specifically directed against human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A biotinylated monoclonal antibody and a second monoclonal antibody labeled with a ruthenium complex react with hCG to form a sandwich complex. After the addition of streptavidin-coated microparticles, the complex becomes bound to the solid phase via interaction of biotin and streptavidin. The reaction mixture is aspirated into the measuring cell where the microparticles are magnetically captured onto the surface of the electrode. Application of a voltage to the electrode then induces chemiluminescent emission, which is measured by a photo-multiplier.(Package insert: HCG+B. Roche Diagnostics; 11/2018)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Sunday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

Same day/1 day

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

7 days

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their account representative. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
THCG HCG, Quantitative, Pregnancy, S 83086-9
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
THCG HCG, Quantitative, Pregnancy, S 83086-9

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports