VDRL - Venereal disease research laboratory (RPR) Lab Test

Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA), Microhemagglutination assay for Treponema pallidum (MHA-TP), Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test (FTA-ABS), Syphilis detection test

Clinical Definition of VDRL - Venereal disease research laboratory (RPR)

Venereal disease tests diagnose antibodies produced due to the bacterium Treponema pallidum in the blood, body fluid, or tissue. This bacteria cause’s syphilis contamination which is a sexually contracted infection that affects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. It could progress from mother to baby during pregnancy. A syphilis infection could spread through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. Syphilis can cause severe heart disease, brain damage, spinal cord damage, blindness, and death if not diagnosed and treated in time. Tests to screen Syphilis are:

VDRL which stands for “venereal disease research laboratory” test

Rapid plasma reagin test (RPR) very similar to VDRL test

 

Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test (FTA-ABS) and Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assays (TPHA) are two of the blood tests done at hospitals to detect the presence of antibodies produced due to syphilis infections

When do you expect results?

You can expect your VDRL lab test report within 24 to 36 Hours from the time of undergoing medical diagnosis.

Why Do I Need VDRL Test?

The VDRL test procedure helps detect a syphilis infection due to bacteria Treponema pallidum. It is generally ordered as a preventive test during pregnancy. You need to take a VDRL test in pregnancy to identify key signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as:

 

  • The initial stages of syphilis denoted by single, small, painless sores
  • Swelling in nearby lymph nodes.
  • If not treated, syphilis could generally cause a non-itchy skin rash, often on the hands and feet. Symptoms tend to go unnoticed for years and could reappear which may require you to do follow-up tests for effective treatment. 

 

Simply put, if you don't take the vdrl test non reactive and stay untreated, the infection may spread to other internal organs in your body and cause further complications. 

What Other Tests Might I Have Along With VDRL Test?

If your doctor suspects your syphilis infection to have spread to your brain, he may ask to take a sample of your spinal fluid for analysis in the laboratory and recommend VDRL positive treatment. You may be asked for further bloodwork or repeat tests within 2 to 4 weeks in case you're sexually active. 

For more clinical information regarding what is VDRL and how it's performed at the hospital, talk to your healthcare advisor

What Do My VDRL Test Results Mean?

VDRL test reactive means treatment results are almost always associated with primary syphilis and secondary syphilis. VDRL tests are used to diagnose your treatment's response and effectiveness with respect to the quantity of the titer of reagin antibodies.

What Is The VDRL Test?

The answer to what is venereal disease test is that it's a medical test used for diagnosing syphilis, a bacteria that is known to cause sexually transmitted infections (STI).  Your body releases antibodies as an immune system response to the antigens produced due to damage by this bacteria. Antibodies are your body's defence mechanism for fighting against infections and are a kind of protein. 

It doesn't matter whether you have syphilis or not because the test doesn't rely solely on the syphilis symptoms and its results will reveal whether your body has been affected by this infection. Syphilis is an infection that spreads through genital contact alone and it doesn't contaminate those who share toilets and utensils. Common treatment methods for syphilis infections are pencillin injections and Doxycycline. Pregnant women and sexually active people are commonly recommended to appear for a VDRL blood test. 

Does VDRL Test Pose Any Risk?

No, this test does not pose any risk, and no medical complications are associated with it.

What Might Affect My Test Results?

VDRL tests are indicative of sexually transmitted infections and not confirmative. Your doctor may ask you to take follow-up tests for further analysis and diagnosis. As such, the test should be treated as a stepping stone towards identifying syphilis and other possible illnesses.

How Do I Prepare For VDRL Test?

You don't have to make any special preparations for this test. There is no fasting required and you don't have to stop taking your existing medications or take additional ones either. Unless you are diagnosed with other illnesses and your doctor specifically gives you instructions, you can simply come to the clinic and get your blood drawn for a VDRL analysis. 

 

Preparatory instructions before the test *:

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

Sample Required For VDRL Test?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample),

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

How Is VDRL Test Done?

If you're wondering what is VDRL test, the answer is that it's just like a normal blood test and all your doctor will do is take a sample of your blood by injecting a needle through the back of your hand or the crease of your elbow. The blood sample will be sent to the lab for further analysis and the VDRL test price is very cost-effective. 

 

Understanding results of VDRL - Venereal disease research laboratory (RPR)

Reference RangeInterpretation
Non reactiveNo infection
Diagnostic titre : 1:8Syphilis infection


‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Conclusion

The VRDL test is a good way to find out whether you're at risk for possible sexually transmitted infections. Practicing safe sex and being mindful of choosing your sexual partners is the first step towards protecting yourself from this disease. 

You can book our healthcare services and get your VRDL test done at home for convenience. When you take it through us, we send you your VDRL test report straight to your doorstep. 

Our nursing services include palliative care and for follow-up treatments, subject to your medical condition and stage of the disease, you may be recommended by our senior doctors to go for a follow-up blood test for venereal disease or treatment at the hospital.  Life after VDRL treatment is a reality and although it is possible to contract VRDL again even after you've treated. This is why it's always a best practice to get tested often.

References

  1. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199001253220415
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/manual-1998/chapt8.pdf
  3. http://www.ijmm.org/article.asp?issn=0255-0857;year=2003;volume=21;issue=2;spage=118;epage=120;aulast=Gupta
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003515.htm
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312652/