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Laboratory Test Directory

Culture- Acid Fast Bacillus, Respiratory (Updated)


Name Method Department Units
AFB Culture, Respiratory BacT/Alert
Standard microbiologic culture media and techniques
CMI, Microbiology

Battery Members

Acid Fast Bacillus Culture, Acid Fast Bacillus Stain, specimen digestion / decontamination.

Specimen Requirements

Sputum, first morning, Tracheal aspirate, Bronchoscopy aspirate, BAL

Container Type Container Size Specimen Volume

Sterile container


Room temperature - 24 hour(s)
Refrigerated - 24 hour(s)

Specimen Preparation

  • Transport to laboratory as soon as possible

Reasons for Rejection

  • 24 hour sputum samples
  • Specimen collected on swab.
  • Not received within specified time frame


When TB is highly suspected, respiratory specimen AFB smear may be ordered STAT and will be performed within 24 hours. AFB smear not routinely performed on gastric aspirate.

CPT Code

  • 87116
  • 87206
  • 87015