Test Overview
Test Methodology


Test Usage

Isolate and identify potentially pathogenic organisms.

Reference Range *

No growth

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

All organisms will be identified and susceptibility testing will be performed. Fastidious organisms may not be isolated from specimens over 2 hrs old.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Daily, 24 hrs
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 12-24 hours. Negative cultures are reported after 3 days. The health care provider will be notified of positive smears or cultures.

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
CSF Culture, Lumbar Only (Includes Gram Stain and Suscept)
  • Aerobic Culture, Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • CSF, Routine Culture
  • Culture, CSF, Aerobic
  • Routine Culture, CSF
  • Routine Culture, Spinal Fluid
  • Spinal Fluid, Routine Culture
  • CSFG
Specimen Requirements

Specimen type: CSF, DO NOT SEND SWABS. Cleanse area with soap solution, remove soap with 70% ethanol. Apply 1% tincture of iodine. Iodine must remain on skin 2 - 4 minutes for maximum effectiveness. Remove with 70% alcohol. If patient is allergic to iodine, alcohol alone can be used. DO NOT touch prepared skin during collection of specimen. Avoid contamination with normal flora from skin or other body surfaces. Indicate current antibiotic therapy and clinical diagnosis. Send to laboratory or MLABS immediately.

Normal Volume
1 ml CSF
Minimum Volume
0.5 - 1.0 ml CSF
Storage Temperature
1. Ambient: Yes
2. Incubate: No
3. Refrigerate: No
4. Freeze: No
Rejection Criteria
1. Specimens older than 12 hrs.
2. Specimen not sent in appropriate sterile container.
Additional Information

Test includes culture and Gram stain smear. Test includes susceptibility testing of potentially pathogenic organism(s) at an additional charge unless specifically declined.

CPT Code
87070 Culture, 87205 Smear
Fee Code