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Bone Marrow Culture, Bacterial (088-0054)
Test Mnemonic:

C BF or C BFBN if submitted in blood culture bottle (Bactec)

Specimen Requirements:

Using aseptic technique, collect bone marrow aspirate into a sterile Pediatric Isolator tube, heparin Vacutainer tube  or inject 1-5 ml of fluid into a blood culture bottles.


Sterile container; Bactec bottles


Transport immediately, do not refrigerate


24 hours

Causes for Rejection:

Improper tube collected. Insufficient quantity, submission of container other than a Pediatric Isolator tube or heparin tube, clotted specimens may result in false negative cultures. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection on requisition form.

Reference Range:

No growth

Turnaround Time:

Preliminary report after 1 day; final report after 5 days


Gram stain (unless submitted in blood culture bottles); culture for the isolation of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and antimicrobial susceptibility testing if appropriate


Clinical Microbiology


Culture, bone marrow; Bacterial culture, bone marrow

Clinical Indication:

Suspected bacterial infection of the bone marrow

Patient Preparation :

Bone marrow aspiration.

CPT 4 Code:

 87070- routine culture; 87040 Bactec bottle culture, additional codes if indicated


Blood culture bottles are recommended for optimal recovery when small quantity of bacteria are present.

When ordering tests for which Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement will be sought, physicians should only order tests that are medically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient. Components of the organ or disease panels may be ordered individually. The diagnostic information must substantiate all tests ordered and must be in the form of an ICD-10 code or its verbal equivalent.
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