Name: Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast
Test Name: Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast
Health Link Test Code: GM4045 (for 1 collection site) or HCBLOC2 (if ordering 2 sites)
LIS Test Code: BLOC
CPT Code(s): 87040; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.
Days Performed: Daily.
In-Lab Turnaround Time: Preliminary report: 1 day. Final report: Negative culture 5 days; Positive culture 2 days minimum.
Stat In-Lab Turnaround Time: Not available stat.
Collection Container: Bactec® Blood Culture Bottle
Collection Volume: 20 mL
Pediatric Collection Volume: 4.5 mL
Sample Analyzed: Whole Blood
Transport specimen to the laboratory.
See Additional Information for rejection criteria.
Interpretation Type: Expected Results
Critical Calls: yes
Best practices dictate that blood culture bottles should always be sent to the lab as soon as possible after blood collection for optimal results.
The method used detects aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as Candida and Cryptococcus. For adult patients, submit 15-20 mL from each of two separate sites. Culture of 30-40 mL per septic episode, not per fever spike, is sufficient to detect 99.9% of cases of sepsis in adults. For optimum diagnosis of sepsis, sample 3-4 sites only on the first day of a septic episode. Cultures on subsequent days are of minimal diagnostic value. If peripheral access is poor, one peripheral sample should be accompanied by a 15-20 mL line-drawn specimen.
less than 5 mL in adult bottle
greater than 10 mL in adult bottle
only an anaerobic bottle received
pediatric bottle used on an adult patient
routine blood cultures accompanying approved quantitative blood cultures
Susceptibility testing is routinely performed except on organisms that are likely skin or air contaminants including single positive cultures growing coagulase-negative Staphylococcus.
PCR for MRSA and MSSA is routinely performed on positive blood cultures with gram-positive cocci in clusters. The assay cannot detect MSSA if MRSA is present.
Culture, Blood, Filamentous and Dimorphic Fungi cultures should be drawn when Malassezia furfur or dimorphic fungi, e.g. Histoplasma capsulatum, are suspected or in the presence of negative routine blood cultures. See separate entry.
For fastidious bacteria, contact the UWHC Director of Microbiology at (608) 263-4445 to discuss appropriate testing methods. If mycobacteria or cytomegalovirus is suspected, see specific entries.
UWHC/UWMF providers please refer to the UConnect intranet site for Best Practices for Culturing Blood, Policy 2.5.6 Blood Cultures for Adult Patients and Policy 2.5.8 Blood Cultures for Pediatric Patients.