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Urine Culture, Bacterial (8000100006)
Test Mnemonic:


Specimen Requirements:

Please specify is sample is collected by clean catch, straight catheter,  nephrostomy, suprapubic or indwelling catheter. 


For midstream urine collection, follow directions in the Specimen Collection Section of the LSG. Use urine collection kit that is available from Materials Management.

For straight catheter urines, collect after catheter is aseptically inserted and after 15mL of urine has passed. 

For indwelling catheters, disinfect the collection port with 70% alcohol. Clamp catheter below port and allow urine to collect in tubing for 10-20 minutes. Use a needle to syringe 5-10 milliliters of urine into a sterile container or preservative tube. 


Gray top tube for urine culture with boric acid preservative. 

Sterile containers are acceptable storage and transport requirmenets are followed.

Minimum Volume:

3 mL for for urine in preservative tube vacutainer.

1 mL for sterile containers.


Unpreserved urine in sterile container - 2 hours at room temperature. Otherwise, can be stored up to 24 hours at 4º C. 

Urine in preservative tube - up to 48 hours refrigerated or at room temperature. 


Urine in preservative tube- up to 48 hours, refrigerated or room temperature. 

Urine in sterile containers, unpreserved - 2 hours, room temperature. 24 hours, 4° C. 

Causes for Rejection:

Urine received > 2 hours after collection at room temperature in sterile/non preserved contianer. Urine in preservative tube received >48 hours after collection. 

Leaking container, insufficient quantity, incorrect gray top vacutainer, missing or conflicting patient information.  

Reference Range:

No aerobic growth (<1,000 CFU/mL) 

Turnaround Time:

If no organisms isolated, turnaround time is 24-48 hours. Turnaround time for cultures with potentional pathogens may vary. 


Quantitative culture of urine including colony count, isolation of potential pathogens, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing when appropriate. 


Clinical Microbiology


Urine Culture; Culture, urine; Bacterial culture, urine

Clinical Indication:

Patients with signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria or yeast.

Patient Preparation :

The patient is given instructions on how to collect a clean-catch, mid-stream urine. Indwelling, straight catheter, and suprapubic collections should be performed by the appropriate personnel. 

CPT 4 Code:

87205- gram stain  

87070- Culture, aerobic, with isolation and presumptive identification of isolates.  

87075- Culture, anaerobic with isolation and presumptive identification of isolates. 

Additional CPT codes may apply when potential pathogens are recovered 



Gram stain not routinely performed on urine cultures. If a gram stain is needed, please order a direct gram stain test. One sample per 48 hours is acceptable. Multiple samples sent within 48 hours will be rejectedas duplicates. 

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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