The Torch panel is a blood test that checks for antibodies to five different infectious agents: Toxoplasmosis, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2. The acronym “TORCH” stands for the first letter of each of these infections.
The Torch panel is typically ordered for pregnant women to determine if they have been exposed to any of these infections and to assess their risk of transmitting them to their developing fetus. These infections can cause serious health problems in infants, including birth defects, neurological damage, and developmental delays.
Testing for antibodies to these infections can help identify women who may benefit from close monitoring during pregnancy and/or treatment to reduce the risk of transmission to the fetus.
The Torch panel may also be ordered for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, as they may be at increased risk of complications from these infections.
If you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and your healthcare provider suspects you may have been exposed to one or more of these infections, they may recommend a Torch panel as part of your evaluation.