Pharyngoconjunctival Fever (PCF) Workup

Updated: Sep 05, 2017
  • Author: Ingrid U Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

Diagnosis of PCF generally is made based on clinical presentation alone. Virus may be cultured during the acute epithelial stage only, because the stromal infiltrates that occur later in the disease are thought to be immune complexes against residual viral antigen.

Without positive viral cultures taken during the first 8-10 days, proof of diagnosis beyond clinical impression may be obtained from paired blood specimens; one specimen drawn 1 week after the onset of symptoms and the second specimen drawn 2-3 weeks later. A 4-fold or greater increase in humoral antibody to adenovirus, measured by complement fixation, indicates recent adenoviral infection.

Other diagnostic tests include electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, immunoperoxidase, polymerase chain reaction, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing. Several commercially available tests may provide a diagnosis, although laboratory processing time may be several days to over a week.