Days Set Up
Monday - Saturday
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 12-24 hours, Monday - Saturday. The health care provider will be notified of positive smears. STAT smears are not done routinely and are not recommended on unconcentrated specimens due to the low number of organisms. Contact the MLabs office if there is a special need for a STAT smear.

MiChart Code
Acid Fast Bacillus Smear
Soft Order Code

Test Updated:


Atypical Mycobacteria Smear
Auramine Stain
Fluorescent Stain, AFB
Kinyoun Stain
Mycobacteria Smear
TB Smear
Acid Fast Bacilli Smear

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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

Microscopic Exam

Test Usage

Determine presence of mycobacteria

Reference Range

No mycobacteria seen on smear. Positive smears will be quantitated and reported as: rare (1-3 bacilli in entire smear), few (4-9 bacilli in entire smear), moderate (>10 bacilli in entire smear), or numerous (1 or more bacilli per high power field).

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

Specimen Requirements

Collection Offsite

Appropriate specimen for smear is the same as for culture. For optimum recovery, send immediately. If specimen must be stored, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection; specimen may be refrigerated up to 72 hours. Do not incubate. Indicate specimen source, collection date/time, current antibiotic therapy, and clinical diagnosis.

Normal Volume
Same as for culture of specific site. Minimum of 0.1 ml.
Minimum Volume
Same as for culture of specific site. Minimum of 0.1 ml.

Billing Information

CPT Code
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.