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Quantitative Tissue Culture, Bacterial (088-8136)
Test Mnemonic:


Specimen Requirements:

Using aseptic technique, collect a biopsy/tissue from the infected area with as little surrounding tissue as possible.


Sterile container


Room temperature. Transport immediately.

Specimen Preparation:

Place tissue/biopsy in sterile container


12-24 hours

Causes for Rejection:

Insufficient quantity, non-sterile container, non-graft surgery. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection or collector information on order.

Orders outside of burn and plastic surgery settings.

Reference Range:

No growth

Turnaround Time:

2-5 days


Culture, numeric quantitation of bacteria and yeast in biopsy samples; gram stain


Clinical Microbiology


Bacterial biospy culture, quantitative; Quant culture

Clinical Indication:

Surgery: Quantitative cultures yielding greater than ten to the fifth organisms per gram of tissue are associated with unsuccessful skin grafts and delayed wound closures.

Burns: Quantitative cultures yielding greater than ten to the fifth organisms per gram of tissue are associated with invasive burn wound infection and unsuccessful skin grafts.

Orders for quantitative culture of tissue are routinely restricted to burn and plastic surgery services.

Patient Preparation :

Prep the eschar or skin with Isopropyl alcohol on dampened gauze to remove any topical agent and destroy any surface flora.

Allow the surface to dry.

Tissue quantitative cultures work best with punch biopsies; however, the laboratory will accept biopsies up to 1cm x 1cm and as deep as necessary. (Large tissue samples are a biohazard, as laboratory personnel must use sharps to reduce the size).

CPT 4 Code:

87071: Culture, 87015: Concentration, 87205: Gram Stain, additional as indicated


Fastidious organisms requiring special media may not be detected. If unusual organisms are suspected, prior notification of the laboratory is necessary so that an alternate media can be used, or incubation time can be extended.

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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