Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is one of many variants of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This technique is commonly used in molecular biology to detect RNA expression.
RT-PCR is often confused with real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) by students and scientists alike.
However, they are separate and distinct techniques. While RT-PCR is used to qualitatively detect gene expression through creation of complementary DNA (cDNA) transcripts from RNA, qPCR is used to quantitatively measure the amplification of DNA using fluorescent probes. qPCR is also referred to as quantitative PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, and real-time quantitative PCR.