What 'CT Value' Means in Your PCR Test Report



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Illustration of a Covid-19 antigen swab or swab test. ANTARA/M Risyal Hidayat

    Illustration of a Covid-19 antigen swab or swab test. ANTARA/M Risyal Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaDuring times like the current Covid-19 pandemic hearing the term ‘PCR test’ is all too familiar for our ears, mainly as it is a test to determine whether a person has contracted the virus or not. Then, there is the term ‘CT value’ that comes after every PCR test, but what does it translate to?

    Makassar’s Primaya Hospital Pathology specialist Selvi Josten explains that the term stands for ‘cycle threshold value’ that is “the determined threshold to define the boundary between being ill and healthy,” said Josten, Bisnis.com reported.

    The CT value number is obtained from gen E, gen N, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) that is the target of the gene of the viral particle that will be found in the test. “The number listed under CT value is the threshold cycle when the amplification exceeds the threshold in the sample amplification process,” said the pathologist. 

    CT values < 29 are strong positive reactions indicative of abundant target nucleic acid in the sample. 

    CT values of 30-37 are positive reactions indicative of moderate amounts of target nucleic acid. 

    CT values of 38-40 are weak reactions indicative of minimal amounts of target nucleic acid. 

    In an instagram post, the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital consultant Samuel L. Simon reminded the public to always pay attention to the CT value after taking a PCR test. “Study and understand the results of the PCR test to avoid panicking,” Simon wrote. “Stress, paranoia, and fear can reduce immunity, which is something that is clearly needed to handle the virus.”

    Read also: Air Travelers Must Carry PCR Results from Govt-affiliated Labs