DNA Test Instructions

Genetic analysis can be done with just a bit of blood.

Collecting, Handling & Shipping Instructions

Peripheral Whole Blood:

5ml (adult), 2-5ml (pediatric), minimum of 1ml (newborns).

Use EDTA (lavender/purple top) vacutainer tubes. We cannot accept red top tubes (clotted blood) for DNA testing. Transfusions of whole blood prior to peripheral blood collection may result in an inconclusive interpretation.

Extracted DNA:

We accept extracted DNA for any test; send approximately 10-20 μg. From overseas, we recommend sending extracted DNA. Keep some DNA as a backup if possible, in case a sample is damaged in transit.

Amniotic Fluid -Direct:

For second trimester samples, send two (2) samples of direct amniotic fluid, 15-20 ml each, in sterile, securely capped plastic tubes. For third trimester samples, send a total of 45-50 ml of direct fluid. Transport promptly at room temperature.

Chorionic Villus SamplingCVS:

At least 10-15 mg of tissue in a sterile medium in a sterile, securely capped plastic container or centrifuge tube. Clean the tissue and transport promptly at room temp.

Maternal Cell Contamination Study (MCC):

We test for maternal cell contamination with all prenatal testing. If a fetal sample is contaminated with maternal cells, interpretation will be inconclusive. Please provide a maternal blood sample, 2-3 ml, either before or with the fetal sample. Send a separate test order form for the maternal sample. If a maternal DNA sample is already stored in our laboratory, please contact us to ask if we need an additional specimen.

Laboratory Approval:

Please obtain prior approval of a Laboratory Director for specimen volumes less than the minimum, specimens collected out of the preferred time frames, or analysis of other specimen types.


A completed order form must accompany all specimens. Check our website for the latest version of the Order Form. Send a separate test requisition forms for each individual including copies of medical records confirming diagnosis in affected patients and any other relevant clinical notes, such as reports of genetic testing already performed, should accompany specimens.

Shipment of Specimens:

Specimens should be received in the Clinical Genetics Laboratory within 72 hours of collection if possible -maximum 5 days. Our laboratory is closed on Sundays, and on some holidays as shown on the web page. Store at ambient room temperature or refrigerate until you send; with the exception of DNA samples all other samples must NOT freeze. Ideally, specimens should be collected and shipped early in the week to avoid a weekend delivery.