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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Parasite, Extended Microscopic Exam, Fecal

Test Code(s): PARE / XOP

CPT Code(s): 87177, 87209

Methodology: Microscopy

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, dayshift - day varies.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Up to 5 days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Stool

Collection Instructions: See instructions included in Para-PakŪ Ova & Parasite
(O & P) kit (pink and gray caps) for stool specimens. If patient has had barium or bismuth enemas, wait 2 weeks before collecting specimen. If the patient has received bismuth mineral oil, antibiotics, antimalarial agents or nonabsorbable antidiarrheal preparations, also wait 2 weeks before collecting specimen.

If sending fresh stool in a sterile container send minimum of 12 mL of stool.

If sending Para-PakŪ Ova & Parasite (O & P) kit fill to red fill line indicated on vial (~5-6 mL of stool).

Collection Container: Preferred: See collection instructions.

Collection Volume: Preferred: See collection instructions.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Microbiology (B4/231).

Unacceptable Criteria: Specimens on patients hospitalized more than 3 days are not acceptable. See "Additional Information" below.

LIMIT: One specimen every 48 hours.

Stability: Ambient: Unpreserved: 1 hour; Para-Pak: Unlimited
Refrigerated: Not acceptable
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:


Critical Calls: View

Additional Information:

Requests for parasite exam will be honored if the patient is characterized by one of the following.  Please include this information when ordering the test.

  • recently traveled outside of the United States to an endemic area
  • recently immigrated from a country where intestinal parasites are endemic
  • recent ingestion of raw seafood
  • immunocompromised
  • eosinophilia, OR
  • test has been ordered or approved by an Infectious Disease physician, Gastroenterologist, or Director of Microbiology.

If the above criteria are NOT met, a Giardia Antigen Test will be performed instead.


Specimens will be retained for 2 weeks from the collection date. If further testing is requested, please contact the Director of Microbiology by calling the UWHC Microbiology Lab at (608) 263-8710.


Examination for Cryptospordium, Cyclospora, Isospora, Microsporidia and pinworm must be ordered separately and clearly indicated on request form.


For most gastrointestinal parasites, a single stool sample has a sensitivity of over 90%. If symptoms persist, examination of additional stool specimens may be warranted.


Because these agents do not cause hospital acquired infections, specimens on patients who have been hospitalized greater than 3 days will require approval of the Director of Microbiology or Pathology Resident.

parasite exam, stool

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