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.

Test Details

Days Test Performed

Sunday - Friday. Neutralization procedure available daily.

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




Gastric Culture, AFB
Culture, Gastric, AFB
Mycobacteria Culture, Gastric
TB Culture, Gastric
AFB Smear and Culture
Acid Fast Bacilli Culture, Gastric Fluid

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Specimen Requirements

Offsite Collection Instructions

Perform gastric aspiration. The specimen must be collected on waking, from a fasting patient. Send the specimen within 4 hours of collection or neutralize the specimen to pH 6.5 - 7.5 within 4 hours of collection. Refrigerate and send neutralized specimen within 24 hours; indicate on the requisition that the specimen has been neutralized. Indicate specimen source, collection date/time, current antibiotic therapy and clinical diagnosis. If unacceptable specimen is received, the client will be called and another specimen will be requested before disposal of the original specimen.

Special Handing

Fasting specimen.


100ml Plastic Specimen Container

Normal Volume

5 - 10 mL fluid

Minimum Volume

5 - 10 mL fluid

Additional Information

Test includes: culture, acid-fast smear and concentration of specimen if greater than 5 mL is received. Test includes susceptibility testing of potentially pathogenic organism(s) at an additional charge unless specifically declined. Susceptibilities are performed on the first organism isolated from a patient and at 2-6 month intervals if that organism continues to be isolated while the patient is on therapy. Organism ID and M. tuberculosis susceptibility testing is sent to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS); although there is no charge for testing, MLabs charges a handling fee for processing and forwarding specimens to MDHHS. Non-tuberculosis susceptibility testing is sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories. A subculture of the isolate is kept by the Microbiology Laboratory for further testing, if necessary. By ordering this test the clinician acknowledges that additional reflex testing will be performed and billed at a separate additional charge if indicated.

Billing Information

Fee Codes

CPT Code

87116 Culture, 87206 Smear

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