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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Ear


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

Test Description: Test Component:

Culture and Gram stain, if requested.

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Clinical Significance: Common pathogens include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus), gram-negative rods especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa (the agent of swimmer's ear), and Aspergillus species.

Ear canal swabs are not appropriate for diagnosis of otitis media for which fluid collected by tympanocentesis should be collected.

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Preliminary report: 24 hours. Cultures with no growth or endogenous flora will be reported after 48 hours. Reports on specimens from which pathogens are isolated require a minimum of 48 hours for completion.

Specimen Requirements

Collection Container: Preferred: CultureSwab®

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

Stability: Ambient: 24 hours
Refrigerated: 24 hours
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

Endogenous flora

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