Find a Test

Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test (VDRL) - 000739

The VDRL test which stands for Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test, is done to detect the presence of substances called antibodies, against the bacterium which causes syphilis called Treponema Pallidum. This test doesn’t detect the bacterium directly, but it detects the antibodies which your immune system produces against the bacterium, which will indirectly tell you that you have been infected with the bacterium.

This test is done as a screening for or the diagnosis of syphilis, which is caused by infection by the bacteria called Treponema Pallidum. When you have been infected with the bacterium, even though you are not showing any symptoms, this test will help detect the presence of an infection.

The VDRL tests is part of a screening process for syphilis, if your doctor suspects that you might be having a sexually transmitted illness, or if you have wounds on your genitalia or skin rashes during a physical examination. This test is also done as part of the screening process when a pregnancy has been confirmed, in females.

There are no special preparations that you have to make before you undergo this test.

During this, a Medical Lab Technician will draw out a small volume of blood, using a needle and syringe which is inserted into a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis. A sample of cerebro spinal fluid can also be sent for testing in the case of VDRL.

Since this test is a simple drawing of blood, you will not feel a lot of discomfort. You might experience a mild pain on inserting the needle, but you will not experience any uneasiness afterwards.

There is very little risk in undergoing a VDRL test, because it is a simple blood drawing. Very rarely you might continue to have a mild pain or some swelling at the site where the needle was inserted, but these symptoms will resolve on their own within a couple of days.

If the results of your VDRL tests are negative, it means that you have not been infected by the Treponema Pallidum bacteria. If your results are positive, it means that you most likely have an infection. Since this a screening test, your doctor will want you to undergo more specific investigations in order to confirm the diagnosis.

The duration for which you have had the infection plays a role with the results. During the late stages of the disease you might get false negatives.