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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Acanthamoeba


CPT Code(s): 87081

Methodology: Culture, Microscopy

Clinical Significance: Infectious keratitis, a medical emergency, can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa (amoeba). Amoebic keratitis is a potentially blinding ocular infection caused by Acanthamoeba species, a ubiquitous and free-living parasite. The vast majority of cases of amoebic keratitis occurs in contact lens wearers and is acquired by inadequate decontamination of lenses. Culture of Acanthamoeba spp. plays an important role in accurate diagnosis, and early diagnosis and treatment can preserve the patient's sight.

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, dayshift.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Up to 12 days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), corneal scrapings, contact lens, biopsy

Collection Instructions: CSF specimens must be submitted in a sterile container at room temperature and must be processed within 24 hr. of collection, ie. they must be received between Sunday 12PM and Friday 4PM. Off-hour requests will require consultation with the laboratory. All other specimens must be submitted in Page's Saline at room temperature. Page's Saline can be obtained from the UWHC Microbiology laboratory (B4/231), 263-8710.

Collection Container: Preferred: See collection instructions.

Specimen Transport: For non-CSF, transport to UWHC Microbiology laboratory (B4/231) at room temperature within 72 hours of collection. CSF must be processed within 24 hr of collection.

Unacceptable Criteria: Dry material, frozen, refrigerated or formalized specimens.

Stability: Ambient: 3 days, 24 hr for CSF
Refrigerated: Not acceptable
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:


Test Limitations:

Proper collection and transport of specimen is of critical importance in direct detection.

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