Jan 29, 2018




Clinical Hub,Tools & Resources,UWHC Lab Test Directory,Cytology

Cytology, Sputum

Cytology, Sputum (HCPATHM) Cytology Lab Test

Name: Cytology, Sputum

Test Name: Cytology, Sputum

Health Link Test Code: HCPATHM

LIS Test Code: PATHM

CPT Code(s): 88112

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, 0800-1700.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: 1 - 2 days.

Patient Preparation:

Prior to collecting the sputum sample, instruct the patient to clear the throat of postnasal secretions, gargle and rinse the mouth to remove food residue.

Specimen: Sputum

Collection Container: ThinPrep CytoLyt prefilled container

Also Acceptable: Sterile screw cap container

Collection Instructions:

Early morning sputum specimens yield the greatest number of diagnostic cells. Submit 3 consecutive daily sputum specimens in separate labeled containers. ALL SPECIMENS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN PREFILLED CYTOLYT CONTAINERS OR FRESH WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF ANTICOAGULANT.


Home-collect sputum specimens should be collected in a sterile container, refrigerated immediately. Transport to clinic or lab within 24 hours of collect, keep @ 37°F during transport. 


Ordering instructions for CytoLyt Specimen Collection cups:
Order through Central Supply, item #4013061.

Stability Ambient:

4 hours; 8 Days in CytoLyt

Stability Refridgerated:

24 hours; 8 Days in CytoLyt

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Testing Volume: 5 - 15 mL

Specimen Processing:


Outreach Specimen Processing:

Refrigerate specimen following collection. All sputum specimens submitted fresh must have CytoLyt added prior to transport. Transport with coolant pack; avoid freezing.

Specimen Transport:

Place specimen inside a biohazard bag with the request form in the outside pocket of the bag. Transport specimen to laboratory within 1 hour of collection.

Unacceptable Criteria:

Addition of anticoagulant.


Report provides interpretation.  Contact UWHC Cytology Lab at (608) 263-3205 for further information.

Test Limitations:

The patient must be able to produce a deep cough specimen. If pulmonary macrophages ("dust cells") are not confirmed microscopically, the specimen is considered unsatisfactory for diagnosis. Abnormal findings must be correlated with history and other test results.

Additional Information:

Paperwork must include the patient's name, medical record number, date of birth, specimen source, collection date, clinic and phone number, clinician's full name and pager number, and pertinent clinical history.