Days Set Up
Sunday - Friday, 7:00am - 11:00pm
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 12-24 hours. The health care provider will be notified of positive cultures. Negative cultures are reported after 6 weeks.

Soft Order Code

Test Updated:


AFB Culture, Cerebrospinal Fluid
CSF, AFB Culture
Culture, CSF, AFB
Mycobacteria Culture, CSF
Spinal Fluid, AFB Culture
TB Culture, CSF
AFB Smear and Culture
Acid Fast Bacilli Culture, CSF

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Find a Requisition

All specimens should be accompanied by a requisition.

Submitting Specimens

Learn about how to properly label and where to ship specimens.

Order Kits and Supplies

MLabs provides all the supplies necessary for the collection of specimens.

Test FAQ

Visit our provider FAQ and learn about common questions to ordering tests.

Test Overview

Test Methodology


Test Usage

Isolate and identify mycobacteria

Reference Range

No growth of mycobacteria

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

Specimen Requirements

Collection Onsite

Please contact the laboratory at 936-6877 for smear only or culture only requests. This test is rarely positive, and is no longer performed as a routine test. A staff physician or a member of Infectious Diseases Service must contact the laboratory with the clinical necessity for the test before the specimen will be processed. Collect CSF after sterile preparation of aspiration site. Indicate current antibiotic therapy and clinical diagnosis. Rejection criteria: laboratory not notified prior to sending specimen, no clinical indication written on requisition, insufficient specimen volume. Do not incubate. For optimum recovery, send directly to the Microbiology Laboratory. If specimen must be stored, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection. May be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

Collection Offsite

MLabs client requests for this test will be sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories (Focus Diagnostics). Collect CSF in sterile tube or container. Refrigerate.

Normal Volume
0.5 - 10 mL CSF
Minimum Volume
0.5 - 10 mL CSF

Billing Information

CPT Code
87116 Culture, 87206 Smear
Pro Fee Code

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Our High Standard

Quality that sets us apart

As the reference laboratory division of Michigan Medicine's Department of Pathology, MLabs shares the institution's commitment to applying established quality principles to clinical laboratory testing. Like other large organizations in complex, consequential fields, we rely on an established approach to monitor quality throughout the testing process.