Beta HCG


Alternative names, keywords

Beta human chorionic gonadotrophin, βHCG, β-HCG

Samples required

Clotted blood (gold cap, 5 mL tube). Smaller tubes are available for paediatric samples.

Please state whether purpose of test is pregnancy test (give date of LMP), investigation of suspected ectopic pregnancy, or tumour marker.

Test indications

Pregnancy test, investigation of suspected ectopic pregnancy, tumour marker. βHCG is also part of Down's, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome screening.

Factors affecting test performance/ results

Biotin may interfere - samples should not be taken from patients receiving therapy with high biotin doses (i.e. > 5 mg/day) until at least 8 hours following the last biotin administration.

In rare cases, interference due to extremely high titres of antibodies to analyte-specific antibodies, streptavidin or ruthenium can occur.

Results should always be assessed in conjunction with the patient’s medical history, clinical examination and other findings.

Reference range

Premenopausal female (non-pregnant): <1 IU/L

Postmenopausal female: <7 IU/L

Male: <2 IU/L

Source: Roche Cobas® HCG kit insert 02-2015, V16.0

Pregnancy: often > 10,000 IU/L serum at 10 wks after LMP in normal pregnancy. Mean doubling time in early pregnancy is approximately 2 days.

Turnaround time

Same day (within 2h if urgent)


Biochemistry (Automation)