Viral Inclusions


Use of Test

Presence of viral inclusions. Includes herpes smear, Tzanck smear, cytomegalovirus (CMV) inclusion smear.


  • Label slide with patient’s full legal name
  • Smear the scrapings of a suspect lesion onto the dry glass
  • Immediately immerse in 95% ethanol, or spray with a fixative

PLEASE NOTE: Fixing slides in 95% ethanol, the slide(s) should stay submerged for at least 15 minutes. The slide(s) must then be allowed to air dry completely before packaging and transporting to the lab.


WSLH cytology requisition form #141 must include:

  • Patient’s full legal name
  • Clinic medical record number, if available
  • Date of birth
  • Date of collection
  • Specimen source
  • Clinic address, clinician name, phone number and fax
  • Pertinent clinical history
  • Payment information

Diagnostic Range

  • Negative for viral inclusions
  • Positive for viral inclusions
  • Unsatisfactory for diagnosis
  • Other, descriptive diagnosis


Poorly fixed or air-dried samples impair evaluation.



Turnaround Time

24 hours

Test Codes

90802    VIRAL

Specimen Submission Requirements

Tzanck Smear Kit #16 and Mailers – Instructions For Submitting Specimens For Viral Inclusion Evaluation. This kit is intended for collection and shipment of herpes and cytomegaloviral specimens for identification.


  • Frosted-end glass slides
  • Plastic slide holder
  • Styrofoam mailers
  • Mailing labels
  • Biohazard sticker
  • Requisition form

Mandatory Requirements

  • Write patient’s full legal name on slide
  • Write patient’s full name, DOB and DOS on slide holder
  • Complete WSLH requisition form # 141
  • Collect specimen and transfer to glass slide

Mailing Guidelines

  • Insert glass slide in plastic slide holder
  • Place the plastic holder into the styrofoam mailing box
  • Place completed requisition form in the styrofoam mailer
  • Label the styrofoam mailer with the following:
    • Your laboratory/clinic’s address
    • WSLH Cytology Department address
    • Diagnostic specimen label
    • Biohazard sticker

PLEASE NOTE: The specimen does not need to be refrigerated or packed with ice. The styrofoam mailer does not need to be placed in a biohazard bag.