Culture, Respiratory Secretions

For Specimen Integrity during Extreme Weather see the “Lockbox Usage in Extreme Weather” document at the top of this page.

Test Code

Alias/See Also
Respiratory Secretions Culture;
Lower Respiratory Tract Culture;

CPT Codes
87070*** When a culture is positive there will be a reflex for each identification and susceptibility performed

Preferred Specimen
First morning specimen preferred.  (minimum 5 mL) 

Instruct patient to rinse mouth, cough deeply and collect expectorated sputum (not saliva) in sterile cup. 24 hour specimens are not acceptable.

Transport Container
Sterile Container

Transport Temperature
Room Temperature

Specimen Stability
Room Temperature = 1 day
Refreigerated = 1 day may cause some organisms to not grow
Frozen = unacceptable

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)
24 Hour sputums will not be processed. Processing will be delayed if test is not indicated on requisition.  Frozen specimen

Conventional Isolation and Identification Techniques. Susceptibilities will be performed on appropriate isolates.

Setup Schedule
Sunday - Saturday

Report Available
4 days

Clinical Significance
Isolation of potential respiratory pathogens can be useful in the diagnosis of respiratory tract infection. This specimen may contain normal oral flora. The significance of any isolate must be evaluated with this in mind.

Performing Laboratory
Compunet Clinical Laboratories, LLC
2308 Sandridge Drive
Moraine, OH 45439

Last Updated: December 7, 2021

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.