Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your doctor may suspect mononucleosis based on your signs and symptoms, how long they've lasted and a physical examination. He or she will look for signs like swollen lymph nodes, tonsils, liver or spleen, and consider how these signs relate to the symptoms you describe.
- Antibody tests. If there's a need for additional confirmation, a monospot test may be done to check your blood for antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus. This screening test gives results within a day. But it may not detect the infection during the first week of the illness. A different antibody test requires a longer result time, but can detect the disease even within the first week of symptoms.
- White blood cell count. Your doctor may use other blood tests to look for an elevated number of white blood cells (lymphocytes) or abnormal-looking lymphocytes. These blood tests won't confirm mononucleosis, but they may suggest it as a possibility.
Epstein-Barr virus and infectious mononucleosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm. Accessed Aug. 25, 2012.
- Infectious mononucleosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec14/ch189/ch189f.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Long SS, et al. Long: Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9&isbn=978-1-4377-2702-9&uniqId=353862004-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Pickering LK, et al. Red Book Online. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2012. http://aapredbook.aappublications.org. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.