Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Body Fluid, with Gram Stain


CPT Code(s): 87070, 87015, 87205, 87075; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Test Description: Test Component:

Culture and Gram stain

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Days Performed: Daily.

Turnaround Time: Routine: Preliminary report: 24 hours. Final report: Negative cultures 5 days. Report on specimens from which pathogens are isolated require a minimum of 48 hours for completion.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Body fluid

Collection Instructions: Sterile body fluids such as peritoneal, pleural, pericardial, and synovial can be sent in blood culture bottles obtained from UWHC Central Services. Aseptically transfer equal amounts of fluid into aerobic and anaerobic bottles. Send separate aliquot of fluid in a sterile container for Gram stain.

Grossly purulent specimens should be sent in a sterile container and not inoculated into blood culture bottles.

Breast milk specimens should be refrigerated if not transported immediately to laboratory.

A single specimen is sufficient for performing fungal and aerobic/anaerobic culture.

Collection Container: Preferred: Sterile screw cap container
Also Acceptable: Bactec® Blood Culture Bottle

Collection Volume: Preferred: 8 - 20 mL

Sample Analyzed: Body fluid aliquot

Volume Required: Preferred: 8 - 20 mL

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

Stability: Ambient: Sterile Container: 2 hours; Blood culture bottles: 5 hours
Refrigerated: Not acceptable except for breast milk specimens
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

No Growth

Critical Calls: View

Additional Information:

Mild to moderate community acquired intraabdominal infections do not need to be cultured.

Complicated community acquired and severe complicated intraabdominal infections as well as immunocompromised patients should be cultured aerobically only. Anaerobic culture is not needed.


Back to Lab Test Directory Index