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

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, BAL, Quantitative

Test Code(s): BALC / HCBALC

CPT Code(s): 87071, 87205; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Test Description: Test Component:

Quantitative culture and Gram stain.

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Days Performed: Daily.

Turnaround Time: 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

Specimen: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)

Collection Container: Preferred: Sterile screw cap container

Sample Analyzed: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Microbiology (B4/231) within 2 hours of collection.

Stability: Ambient: 2 hours
Refrigerated: 2 hours
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

No growth at 10³ CFU/mL

Test Limitations:

Quantitative cultures cannot be accurately performed on viscous/mucoid BAL. These will be processed as sputum specimens.

Bronchoalveolar lavage

Back to Lab Test Directory Index