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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Test Code(s): GC

CPT Code(s): 87081; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Methodology: Culture

Days Performed: Daily.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Preliminary report: 24 hours. Final report: Negative cultures 72 hours.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: See collection instructions.

Collection Instructions: Appropriate sites include: Conjunctiva, pharyngeal (throat), rectal (anal), synovial fluid, semen, blood, endocervix, urethra (males), and any specimen when child abuse is suspected. The vagina is an inappropriate site unless patient is premenarcheal, postmenopausal, or post-hysterectomy and lacking a cervix.

Collection Container: Preferred: CultureSwab®
Also Acceptable: Sterile screw cap container

Specimen Transport: Swab must be received by UWHC Microbiology (B4/231) within 6 hours of collection.

Stability: Ambient: 6 hours
Refrigerated: Not acceptable
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

Negative for Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Additional Information:

For cervical or urethral (male) specimens, Neisseria gonorrhoeae by PCR is recommended.


Culture MUST be used for conjunctival, pharyngeal (throat), rectal (anal), synovial, semen, and blood specimens.


Culture is the only forensically acceptable method for sexual assault and abuse cases.


PCR on first void urine or culture may be used for post-hysterectomy females who lack a cervix.




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