Test Overview

Test Methodology


Test Usage

Isolation and identification of 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

If specimen is refrigerated, N. gonorrhoeae, H. influenzae and other fastidious organisms may not be isolated, even though they are present in the specimen. If the culture grows 3 or more significant organisms, no further identification or susceptibilities will be done except on: Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin resistant Enterococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii complex, Group A Beta Streptococcus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Test Details

Days Test Performed


Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 18-24 hours. The health care provider will be notified of positive abdominal, amniocentesis, ascites, dialysate, peritoneal, pleural, pericardial, bone marrow, aqueous fluid, vitreous fluid, or synovial fluid cultures. Negative cultures are reported after 6 days; negative ventricular (shunt) fluid cultures are reported after 10 days.

Soft Order Code


MiChart Code

Sterile Body Fluid Culture, Aerobic



Abdominal Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Aerobic Culture, Bone Marrow
Amniocentesis Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Aqueous Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Ascitic Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Bone Marrow, Aerobic Culture
Culture, Bone Marrow, Aerobic
Pericardial Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Pleural Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Prostatic Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Synovial Fluid, Aerboic Culture
Thoracentesis Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Ventriculostomy Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Vitreous Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Abdominal Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Bursa Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Paracentesis Fluid, Aerobic Culture
Culture, Body Fluid, Sterile
Sterile Body Fluid Culture / Smear
Peritoneal Fluid, Aerobic Culture

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Specimen Requirements

Offsite Collection Instructions

Acceptable Specimen type: abdominal, amniocentesis, aqueous, ascites, bone marrow, bursa, paracentesis, pericardial, peritoneal, pleural, synovial, thoracentesis, bone marrow, ventricular or vitreous. DO NOT SEND SWABS. Avoid contamination with normal flora from other body surfaces.Specimen Collection: Cleanse area with soap solution. Remove soap with 70% ethanol. Apply 1% tincture of iodine. Leave on skin 2-4 minutes for maximum effectiveness. Remove with 70% alcohol. If patient is allergic to iodine, alcohol can be used alone. Do not touch prepared skin during collection of specimen.


100ml Plastic Specimen Container

Normal Volume

10.0 ml fluid

Minimum Volume

0.5 ml fluid

Additional Information

Test includes culture and Gram stain smear if sufficient specimen is received. Potentially pathogenic organisms will be identified. Test includes susceptibility testing of potentially pathogenic organism(s) at an additional charge unless specifically declined. If anaerobic organisms are suspected, an anaerobic culture should be sent. Use of Aerobic BACTEC blood culture transport shows improved recovery of bacteria and yeast; if a gram stain is needed, send additional fluid in a sterile tube or container.

Billing Information

Fee Codes

CPT Code

87070 Culture, 87205 Smear

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