Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR)

The Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) test is a semi-quantitative test for antibodies to cardiolipin (non-treponemal antibodies). The RPR is useful for the assessment of disease activity and treatment monitoring. The laboratory routinely tests for a prozone reaction on all sera. Not UKAS accredited.
Clinical details: 
Treponema pallidum serology, rather than RPR, is the routine syphilis screening test. Genital ulcers should be swabbed and tested for HSV and Trep. pallidum DNA via PCR. Suggest discuss all suspected syphilis cases with a sexual health specialist.
Reference range: 

A sustained two bottle dilution (i.e. four-fold) increase in the RPR titre suggests reinfection or treatment failure

Synonyms or keywords: 
RPR, VDRL, Syphilis, Non-treponemal
Sample type and Volume required: 
2.5 – 5ml Yellow Top Serum Separation Tube (SST) Clotted Blood (for serum).
Turnaround time: 
3 working days
Special sample instructions: 

Performed only on samples from GUM clinic patients with previously confirmed positive Syphils serology.

Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). To prevent sample haemolysis please store samples in refrigerator if a delay in sending samples to CSR is unavoidable.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 18/01/2022