Days Set Up
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 18-24 hours. Negative cultures are reported after 3 days.

Soft Order Code

Test Updated:


Aerobic Culture, Respiratory, Gram Stain
Aerobic Culture, Sputum, Gram Stain
Culture, Sputum, Aerobic, Gram Stain
Endotracheal, Aerobic Culture, Gram Stain
Respiratory Culture, Aerobic, Gram Stain
Respiratory, Aerobic Culture, Gram Stain
Tracheal, Aerobic Culture, Gram Stain
Aerobic Culture, Respiratory
Aerobic Culture, Sputum
Culture, Sputum, Aerobic
Endotracheal, Aerobic Culture
Sputum, Aerobic Culture
Respiratory, Aerobic Culture
Tracheal, Aerobic Culture

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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


Test Usage

Determine causative agent of infection.

Reference Range

Less than 10 squamous epithelial cells per low power field; normal respiratory flora.

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

Specimen Requirements

Collection Offsite

Acceptable specimens include expectorated or aspirated sputum, tracheal aspirate, or bronchial aspirate. For expectorated sputum collection, the patient should be instructed to remove dentures, rinse mouth, cough deeply and expectorate sputum into proper container. Be sure the patient understands the difference between sputum and saliva. For optimum recovery, send immediately after specimen collection. If specimen must be stored, refrigerate immediately after specimen collection.

100ml Plastic Specimen Container
Normal Volume
10 mL sputum
Minimum Volume
2 mL sputum

Billing Information

CPT Code
87070 Culture, 87205 Gram Stain 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.