Nov 15, 2017




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

Culture, Urine

Culture, Urine (URC , HCURNCS) Microbiology Lab Test

Name: Culture, Urine

Test Name: Culture, Urine

Health Link Test Code: URC , HCURNCS


CPT Code(s): 87086, 87088; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Test Component:

Culture; Gram stain if requested.

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Clinical Information:

Isolate and identify pathogenic organisms causing urinary tract infection.

Days Performed: Daily.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: 1 - 2 days.

Stat In-Lab Turnaround Time: Not available stat.

Specimen: Random urine

Collection Container: Sterile screw cap container

Collection Instructions:

Indicate midstream, indwelling cath, single cath, VB series, cystoscopy, or suprapubic aspirate.

Collection Volume: 1 mL

Pediatric Collection Volume: 1 mL

Stability Ambient:

2 hours

Stability Refridgerated:

24 hours

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Sample Analyzed: Urine aliquot

Testing Volume: 0.1 mL

Pediatric Testing Volume: 0.1 mL

Specimen Processing:

Refrigerate specimen if transport to laboratory will be greater than 2 hours.

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to the laboratory within 2 hours of collection. Transport specimen with coolant pack if over 2 hours.

Unacceptable Criteria:

LIMIT: One specimen every 24 hours.


None (Less than 1000 CFU/mL)

Interpretation Type: Expected Results

Test Limitations:

Bacteria present in numbers less than 1000 colony forming units (CFU) per mL are not detected by this method.

Additional Information:

In general, in clean catch, midstream specimens, colony counts in fresh bladder urine from infected patients show more than 10,000 CFU/mL.


A colony count of more than 10,000 CFU/mL is significant in urine collected via an indwelling catheter, more than 1,000 CFU/mL if collected by single (straight) catheterization.


Regardless of the collection method, if more than two uropathogens are present at greater than 10,000 CFU/mL, only a single, predominating uropathogen will be identified. If no single uropathogen predominates, the report will include a comment stating "No further workup.  Pattern of growth suggests poor specimen quality. Suggest appropriate recollection with timely delivery to laboratory if clinically warranted."


Customized protocols are used for diagnosis of prostatitis, ileal conduits, suprapubic aspirates, cystoscopy or when low count UTI (urethral syndrome) is indicated.


Susceptibility tests are performed based on UWHC Microbiology laboratory protocols.