Days Set Up
Sunday - Friday
Analytic Time

Preliminary results on all cultures are reported in 12-24 hours. Negative cultures are reported after 6 weeks.

Soft Order Code

Test Updated:


Sputum Culture, AFB
Culture, Sputum, AFB
Mycobacteria Culture, Sputum
TB Culture, Sputum
AFB Smear and Culture
Acid Fast Bacilli Culture, Sputum

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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

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Test Overview

Test Methodology

VersaTrek, Culture

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 Offsite

The patient should be instructed to remove dentures, rinse mouth with water and cough deeply, expectorating sputum into the sputum collection cup. First morning sputum yields best recovery of AFB. For optimum recovery, send immediately. If specimen must be stored, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection; do not incubate. May be refrigerated up to 24 hrs. Specify specimen source, collection date/time, current antibiotic therapy, and clinical diagnosis. Do not submit more than four specimens in one 7 day period unless by prior arrangement. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the client will be notified and another specimen will be requested before disposal of the specimen.

100ml Plastic Specimen Container
Normal Volume
5 mL sputum. Low volume sputums will be held up to 7 days and pooled with subsequent specimens until minimum volume is met.
Minimum Volume
5 mL sputum. Low volume sputums will be held up to 7 days and pooled with subsequent specimens until minimum volume is met.

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.