Test Overview
Test Methodology


Test Usage

Establish the presence of filamentous fungi, dimorphic pathogens and aerobic actinomycetes.

Reference Range *

No fungi or aerobic actinomycete isolated.

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

Test Limitations

Isolation of Histoplasma is suboptimal from specimens older than 4 hrs and is unlikely from specimens older than 8 hrs or from specimens that have been refrigerated.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Analytic Time

Preliminary results on all cultures are reported in 12-24 hours. The health care provider will be notified of positive cultures. Negative cultures will be reported after 4 weeks.

Soft Order Code
  • Candida, CSF
  • Cryptococcus, CSF
  • CSF, Fungus Culture
  • Culture, CSF, Fungus
  • FNG
  • Fungus Culture, Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Spinal Fluid, Fungus Culture
  • Nocardia Culture, CSF
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Clinical neurological diagnosis must be noted on the requisition for processing. Please contact MLabs at 800-862-7284 to request smear only or culture for Histoplasma, Blastomyces, or Coccidioides. Fungal cultures are not routinely performed on cerebrospinal fluid due to the low probability of recovery of molds. CSF is the specimen of choice for detection of cryptococcal meningitis in adults and Candida meningitis in children. Cryptococcus antigen test will be performed when CSF is received for suspected cryptococcal meningitis. Candida species will grow on routine (aerobic) CSF culture. Collect specimen after sterile preparation of aspiration site. For optimum recovery, send immediately. If specimen must be stored and Histoplasma isolation is not desired, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection. May be refrigerated up to 24 hrs. If Histoplasma isolation is desired, keep specimen at room temperature and send within 4 hrs of specimen collection. Indicate specimen source, collection date/time, current antibiotic therapy and clinical diagnosis on requisition. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the client will be notified before disposal of the original specimen.

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

Test includes culture and, if specimen is adequate, direct smear. Cryptococcal antigen testing will be performed at an additional charge on all CSF specimens submitted for fungal culture. By ordering this test the clinician acknowledges that additional reflex testing will be performed and billed at a separate additional charge if indicated.

CPT Code
87102 Isolation, 87106 Identification, 87205 Smear
Fee Code