Test Catalog

Test Id : BHSF

Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Quantitative, Spinal Fluid

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

Aiding in the diagnosis of brain metastases of testicular cancer or extragonadal intracerebral germ cell tumors


Measurement of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is used as an adjunct in the diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) metastases or recurrence of tumor in patients with germ cell tumors.


Quantitation of the hCG in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be important in guiding treatment and monitoring response to treatment of these tumors.


Measurement of hCG in CSF should not be the only parameter used to determine the presence of CNS metastases in patients with germ cell tumors.

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

Electrochemiluminescent Immunoassay (ECLIA)

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

Chorionic Gonad Beta-Subunit QN,CSF

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


Beta-HCG (Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropins)

CG (Chorionic Gonadotropins)

Chorionic Gonadotropins, Beta-Subunit (QN), Spinal Fluid

Gonadotropins, Chorionic

hCG, Beta Subunit (Chorionic Gonad)

Human Chorionic Gonadotropins (hCG)

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing


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.

Container/Tube: Sterile vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: Submit specimen from collection vial 1.


Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.75 mL

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

Hemolysis 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
CSF Refrigerated (preferred) 28 days
Ambient 14 days
Frozen 14 days

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

Aiding in the diagnosis of brain metastases of testicular cancer or extragonadal intracerebral germ cell tumors

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

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is synthesized during pregnancy by syncytiotrophoblast cells. hCG may also be produced by neoplastic cells of testicular tumors (seminomas or nonseminomas), ovarian germ cell tumors, gestational trophoblastic disease, choriocarcinoma, and various nontrophoblastic tumors including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, cervical, gastric, and hepatic cancers.


Measurement of hCG is used as an adjunct in the diagnosis of germ cell tumors. The presence of hCG in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is suggestive of tumor presence. Pure germinomas are associated with low hCG concentrations in both serum and CSF. A subset of nongerminomatous germ cell tumors contain syncytiotrophoblastic giant cells. These tumors are associated with moderately increased hCG concentrations (<1000 IU/L) in the serum and/or CSF, and the survival rate in patients suffering these tumors is worse than that of patients with pure germinomas. In contrast, choriocarcinomas, another subset of nongerminomatous germ cell tumors, are associated with very high hCG concentrations (>1000 IU/L) in both serum and CSF. Quantification of the hCG in CSF can be important in guiding treatment and monitoring response to treatment of these tumors.


The combination of the specific antibodies used in the Roche Beta hCG immunoassay recognize the holo-hormone, "nicked" forms of hCG, the beta-core fragment, and the free beta-subunit.

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.

< or =1.0 IU/L 

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in spinal fluid indicate the probable presence of central nervous system metastases or recurrence of tumor in patients with germ cell tumors, including patients with testicular cancer or choriocarcinoma.

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

The use of multivitamins or dietary supplements containing biotin or vitamin B7 that are commonly found in hair, skin and nail supplements and multivitamins can interfere with this test.


In pregnancy, elevations of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be observed due to blood contamination during CSF collection.


In rare cases, some individuals can develop antibodies to mouse or other animal antibodies (often referred to as human anti-mouse antibodies [HAMA] or heterophile antibodies), which may cause interference in some immunoassays. Rarely, the presence of antibodies to streptavidin or ruthenium can occur and may interfere in this assay. Caution should be used in interpretation of results and the laboratory should be alerted if the result does not correlate with the clinical presentation.


Values obtained with different assay methods or kits may be different and cannot be used interchangeably.


Test results cannot be interpreted as absolute evidence for the presence or absence of malignant disease.


Measurement of hCG in CSF should not be relied upon exclusively to determine the presence of central nervous system metastases in patients with germ cell tumors.

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

1. Tian C, Shi Q, Xiao G, et al: CSF and serum hCG in patients without gestational and neoplastic hCG-secretion. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2011 Jul;71(4):264-268

2. Tian C, Shi Q, Pu C, et al: Re-evaluation of the significance of cerebrospinal fluid human chorionic gonadotropin in detecting intracranial ectopic germinomas. J Clin Neurosci. 2011 Feb;18(2):223-226

3. Gonzalez-Sanchez V, Moreno-Perez O, Sanchez Pellicer PS, et al: Validation of the human chorionic gonadotropin immunoassay in cerebrospinal fluid for the diagnostic work-up of neurohypophyseal germinomas. Ann Clin Biochem. 2011 Sep;48(Pt 5):433-437

4. Hu Y, Ni J, Zhang H, et al:  An immunoassay for human Chorionic gonadotropin in cerebrospinal fluid: validation of a modified-approved method for accreditation by the College of American Pathologists. J Lab Physicians. 2021 Sep 8;14(1):11-15. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1733817.

5. Zhang H, Zhang P, Fan J, et al: Determining an optimal cutoff of serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin for assisting the diagnosis of intracranial germinomas. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 15;11(1):e0147023. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147023

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

The Roche human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) assay is a 2-site immunometric sandwich assay using electrochemiluminescence detection. Patient specimen, biotinylated monoclonal hCG-specific antibody, and monoclonal hCG-specific antibody labeled with a ruthenium react to form a complex. Streptavidin-coated microparticles act as the solid phase to which the complex becomes bound. Voltage is applied to the electrode inducing a chemiluminescent emission from the ruthenium, which is then measured against a calibration curve to determine the amount of hCG in the patient specimen.(Package insert: Elecsys HCG+B. Roche Diagnostics; V1.0. 10/2020)

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 Saturday

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.

1 to 3 days

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

12 months

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 was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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
BHSF Chorionic Gonad Beta-Subunit QN,CSF 14041-8
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.
BHSF Chorionic Gonad Beta-Subunit QN,CSF 14041-8

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