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Body Fluid Culture(Aerobic/Anaerobic), Bacterial (8000100036)
Test Mnemonic:

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

Specimen Requirements:
Test Included:

Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria if in blood culture bottle. Order Anaerobic culture (C ANA) on fluid separately.


Using aseptic technique, collect fluid in sterile container or inject 5-10 ml of fluid into an aerobic blood culture bottle.

The most common specimens are: peritoneal fluid, ascites, joint fluid, pleural fluid, sterile body fluids


Sterile container; Bactec bottles

Minimum Volume:



Transport immediately, do not refrigerate

Specimen Preparation:

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


24 hours

Causes for Rejection:

Improper tube collected. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection on requisition form.

Reference Range:

No growth

Turnaround Time:

2-5 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, sterile fluid; Culture, joint fluid; Culture, pleural fluid; Culture, knee; Culture, peritoneal fluid; Culture, fluid; Knee fluid culture; pleural fluid culture; thoracentesis fluid culture; joint fluid culture

Clinical Indication:

Suspected bacterial infection of a normally sterile fluid

Patient Preparation :

Sterile body fluid collection by aseptic technique using various patient preparation methods.

CPT 4 Code:

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


Bactec bottles are available through Materials Management

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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