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Respiratory Culture, Bacterial (8000100184)
Test Mnemonic:


Specimen Requirements:

Bronchoscopy, aspiration, or surgical collection of lung specimens, nasal swabs, throat aspirates


Sterile container or Eswab

Minimum Volume:



Room temperature.  Refrigerate if delay in transport

Specimen Preparation:

Place fluids in sterile container, Eswab


48 hours

Causes for Rejection:

Leaking container, insufficient specimen; order sputum culture (C SP) for sputum and endotracheal aspirate samples. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection on requisition form.

Reference Range:
Turnaround Time:

 2-5 Days


 Gram stain, culture for the isolation and identification of bacteria, includes susceptibility testing, when appropriate


Clinical Microbiology


Culture, nose; Nose Culture; Bronchial aspirate culture; Culture, bronchial aspirate; BAL Culture, bacterial; Culture, BAL, Lung Culture; Culture, bacterial lung; Culture, lung for bacteria; Throat aspirate culture; Culture, throat aspirate, Culture, bronchoscopy specimen for bacteria

Clinical Indication:

Upper or lower respiratory infection (see sputum culture for sputum samples)

Patient Preparation :

Various samples types are collected

CPT 4 Code:

 87070, 87205 Gram stain on fluids and aspirates;  additional if appropriate


Include any special requests or specific pathogens or antimicrobial therapy

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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