Jun 28, 2017




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

Culture, Catheter Tip, Intravascular

Culture, Catheter Tip, Intravascular (GM4155) Microbiology Lab Test

Name: Culture, Catheter Tip, Intravascular

Test Name: Culture, Catheter Tip, Intravascular

Health Link Test Code: GM4155

LIS Test Code: TIPC

CPT Code(s): 87070; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Methodology: Culture

Days Performed: Daily.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: Preliminary report: 1 day. Final report: 3 days minimum.

Stat In-Lab Turnaround Time: Not available stat.

Specimen: Miscellaneous intravascular catheter tips

Collection Container: Sterile screw cap container

Collection Instructions:

Indicate source of sepsis or infected indwelling arterial/venous catheter.

Stability Ambient:

2 hours

Stability Refridgerated:

2 hours

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to the laboratory within 2 hours of collection.

Unacceptable Criteria:

Urinary catheter tips are not acceptable.


No growth or insignificant growth


Fifteen or more bacterial colonies or five or more yeast colonies growing on a culture plate is regarded as a positive culture, denoting local catheter-related infection, when the same organism is recovered from blood cultures.

Interpretation Type: Expected Results

Test Limitations:

False negative culture results are possible if transport of the specimen to the laboratory is delayed greater than 2 hours.

Additional Information:

This procedure is appropriate only for intravascular catheter tips. Urinary catheter tips are NOT cultured under any circumstances.


Non-vascular catheters are cultured qualitatively (see Wound Cultures).


Patients with catheter related septicemia will usually have greater than 15 colonies per plate. Patients with inflammation at the catheter site, but no related septicemia, will usually have fewer than 15 colonies per plate.


Complete identification and routine susceptibility testing on organisms isolated from catheter tips is not performed.