General Information

UPHSM LIS Test #: 5040
Testing Time: Negatives reported after 6 weeks.
Testing Lab: Labcorp

Specimen Info
Only 1 specimen type required, unless otherwise specified

Temperature: Refrigerate
Tube Type: Sterile container
Collection Info:
Specimen:  First morning sputum (not saliva) (three separate specimens from three separate days are recommended), fasting gastric aspirate, induced sputum, whole blood, tissue, biopsy, bronchial aspirate, urine, skin, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), bone marrow, body fluid, stool. Swabs of exudate from skin sources are acceptable, otherwise swab specimens should not be submitted. Collect aspirate using sterile, nonbacteriostatic saline or other noninhibitory medium. Do not send syringe; it will be rejected.

Volume:  5 mL sputum or respiratory aspirate, 10 mL whole blood, 2 cm³ tissue, 5 mL CSF, 5 cc bone marrow (or as much as possible), 50 mL body fluid (eg, gastric aspirate/lavage, urine, pleural, pericardial, chronic peritoneal dialysate), 10 mL stool, biopsy of skin

Container:  Sterile container with tight screw-cap seal or green-top (sodium heparin) tube or Isolator™

Storage Instructions:  Refrigerate. If sample is to be split for other tests, specimen should be divided at the time of collection so that each portion is transported at the appropriate temperature.

Causes for Rejection:  Inadequate quantity of specimen, including swab specimen without visible evidence of tissue present; specimen received in expired transport media or inappropriate transport device; specimen received after prolonged delay (usually >72 hours); specimen received after leaking out of transport container into the specimen bag (trach-suction devices will often leak if the cap with tubing is not removed and replaced by a solid cap); syringe with attached needle; unlabeled specimen or name discrepancy between specimen and request label; lithium heparin tube


Broth-based and/or agar-based culture. Culture is held for six weeks before negative is reported. Organisms are identified by use of DNA probes and/or nucleic acid sequencing.

Clinical Utilities

Isolate and identify mycobacteria

CPT Codes

87116, 87206

Specimen processing (ie, N-acetyl-L-cystine-sodium hydroxide treatment or equivalent, concentration, grinding, both or neither), mycobacterial culture.  Identification by DNA probes or sequencing will be performed at an additional charge. This culture will often detect Nocardia species and other aerobic actinomyces, and identification appropriate for these organisms will be included.

* The CPT codes provided are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding
is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payer being billed.

Reference Range

See Report