Lab Test

Culture, Cath Tip and Medical Devices

Explant, Catheter, Pacemaker, Foreign, Object

Test Codes





This test does not include Foley catheter tips, chest tubes tips, or abdominal drainage tips.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Catheter tip or medical device in a sterile collection container.

  • Aseptically remove catheter. Holding the distal end over a sterile container, cut the tip with sterile scissors, dropping the last 2 to 3 inches into the container. Avoid drying by sealing the tube.
  • Medical devices should be aseptically or surgically removed and placed in a sterile container.
  • Submit to the Laboratory immediately after collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F), in a sterile collection container, prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Cath tip or medical device in a sterile collection container, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens in a non-sterile or leaking containers.
  • Specimens that have been delayed in transit.
  • Foley catheter tips.
  • Chest tube tips.
  • Abdominal drainage tips.
  • Catheter tips placed in saline or transport media.
  • Objects placed in containers that contain or have contained formalin. 

Inpatient Specimen Preparation

Transport specimens to the Laboratory immediately after collection for processing.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Unacceptable
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 8 hours
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days

Medical devices will be held refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) and forwarded to Biomedical Engineering per policy after 7 days.


Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory
Taylor, Trenton and Wayne sent to Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory for testing.

Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Troy sent to Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory for testing.


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.
Preliminary results available within 24 hours.
Final negative results available in 3 days.

Reference Range

No organisms recovered.

Test Methodology

Conventional procedures for Gram stain, aerobic culture and identification, susceptibility testing (if indicated).


The recovery of microorganisms from an appropriate, properly collected specimen may be indicative of an infectious disease process.

Clinical Utility

This test is used to recover and identify aerobic bacteria that may be involved in human infections.


  1. Baron. 2015. Specimen Collection, Transport and Processing: Bacteriology. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 11th ed., American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C. pp. 228-271.

CPT Codes



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