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, Cystic Fibrosis
Aerobic Culture, Sputum, Cystic Fibrosis
Culture, Sputum, Aerobic, Cystic Fibrosis
Endotracheal, Aerobic Culture, Cystic Fibrosis
Respiratory Culture, Aerobic, Cystic Fibrosis
Respiratory, Aerobic Culture, Cystic Fibrosis
Tracheal, Aerobic Culture, Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis Respiratory Culture
Sputum, Aerobic Culture, Cystic Fibrosis

Looking to order a test?

We’ve provided helpful links to make ordering easy.

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

Visit our provider FAQ and learn about common questions to ordering tests.

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, bronchial aspirate, or throat swab. When ordering the test, please note if patient has cystic fibrosis -- special media will be used for isolation of Burkholderia cepacia, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus. 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.

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

Have More Questions?

Explore our helpful billing resources:

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.