Jun 28, 2017




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

Culture, Sputum, CF Patient

Culture, Sputum, CF Patient (HCCFC, HCCFCS) Microbiology Lab Test

Name: Culture, Sputum, CF Patient

Test Name: Culture, Sputum, CF Patient

Health Link Test Code: HCCFC, HCCFCS

LIS Test Code: CFC, CFCS

CPT Code(s): 87070, 87205; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Test Component:

Culture and Gram stain

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Clinical Information:

Individuals with cystic fibrosis experience recurrent lower respiratory tract infections for their entire lives. The infecting organisms change with the age of the patient, mixed infections are common, and the presence of Burkholderia cepacia group has an impact on prognosis and, perhaps, lung transplant eligibility. Special microbiological media are used to assure isolation of all significant pathogens. Exacerbations are treated with antibiotics and development of antimicrobial resistance is common. For all of these reasons, cultures and susceptibility testing are routinely performed quarterly on outpatients and on each admission to hospital.

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: Preliminary report: 1 day. Final report: 2 days minimum.

Specimen: Expectorated, suctioned or induced sputum, tracheal aspirate, cough throat swabs on pediatric patients

Collection Container: Sterile screw cap container

Also Acceptable: CultureSwab®

Stability Ambient:

2 hours

Stability Refridgerated:

24 hours

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to the laboratory within 2 hours of collection.

Unacceptable Criteria:

More than one specimen received from the same patient within 24 hours is not acceptable.


Endogenous respiratory flora

Interpretation Type: Expected Results

Test Limitations:

Since expectorated sputum, tracheal aspirations, and most bronchial washings are contaminated with endogenous oropharyngeal flora (which includes most of the common lower respiratory tract pathogens), cultures of such specimens are neither particularly sensitive nor specific for the diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia and results should be interpreted with caution. Blood cultures are recommended for the diagnosis of pneumonia, especially for hospitalized patients and those with severe community acquired pneumonia (CAP).

Additional Information:

Susceptibility testing is performed based on lab protocols.


Special methods are necessary for detection of mycobacteria, Legionella, filamentous and dimorphic fungi, Nocardia, and Mycoplasma. See individual entries for additional information.