Lab Test

Culture, Urine

Clean Catch Urine, Catheterized Urine, Suprapubic Urine, Cystoscopic, CCMS, Mid-stream, Urine Culture

Test Codes

Antrim #41987, EPIC: LAB5507, SOFT: CXUR


  • If specimen is from a catheter, the type of catheter must be clearly indicated (i.e. indwelling or straight).
  • Proper specimen collection is very important because organisms normally present in the urethra and periurethral areas can overgrow the pathogenic organisms, thereby providing inaccurate or misleading results. 
  • Urine held at room temperature can support the growth of contaminants as well as pathogenic organisms. Microorganisms can multiply significantly after two hours at room temperature if the urine is not placed into an appropriate transport media.
  • For more information, please refer to Specimen Collection Manual: Urine for Culture.

NOTE: The following test should be used for inpatients at Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak or Troy hospitals, who have an indwelling urinary catheter (currently in use or removed within the last 96 hours): Urinary Catheter Urinalysis with Reflex to Culture.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: 15 mL of urine in a screw-capped container (preferred) or other sterile collection cup. Collection may be clean catch, catheter, cystoscopic, random or suprapubic needle aspiration.

  • For optimal recovery of pathogenic microorganisms, transfer 4-5 mL of the urine specimen to a Gray-top Boric Acid urine transport tube immediately after collection.
  • For specimens with less than 3 mL of urine (i.e., pediatric, patients with oliguria/anuria, urine specimens obtained during surgical procedures):
    • Do NOT transfer urine to the Gray-top Boric Acid urine transport tube.
    • Maintain the urine in the collection cup and keep refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).
    • Send immediately to the Microbiology Laboratory.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Specimens not in a Gray-top Boric Acid urine transport tube are stable at room temperature for a maximum of two hours. Refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) specimens and transport to the Laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Urine in a sterile collection container or Gray-top Boric Acid tube, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Urine collected from the bag attached to the indwelling catheter.
  • Foley catheter tips.
  • Specimens in non-sterile or leaking containers.
  • Multiple specimens (more than one in 24 hours).
  • Pooled specimens.
  • Original specimens delayed in transport to the Laboratory (greater than 2 hours at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) or greater than 48 hours refrigerated in Gray-top Boric Acid tube (2-8°C or 36-46°F).
  • Specimens greater than 3 mL sent in a sterile cup and received more than 2 hours after collection.


Inpatient Specimen Preparation

All samples greater than 3 mL must be transferred to a Gray-top Boric Acid tube. Sterile cups containing greater than 3 mL of urine will be rejected from inpatients if received more than two hours after collection.

Deliver specimens to the Laboratory for processing immediately after collection.

In-Lab Processing

If the specimen is received in a sterile container (not a Gray-top tube) and is a shared urinalysis specimen, immediately pour into a separate sterile container and send to the Urinalysis Laboratory (within 1 hour of receipt).


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Collection Container







Sterile Cup


Room Temperature
(20-26°C or 68-78.8°F)




2 hours




>3 mL
<3 mL


2 hours
24 hours


(-20°C/-4°F or below)




Gray Top Boric Acid Tube


Room Temperature
(20-26°C or 68-78.8°F)
(2-8°C or 36-46°F)


4-5 mL


48 hours


(-20°C/-4°F or below)



Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

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


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


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.

  • Preliminary results available within 24 hours.
  • Cultures on non-invasive specimens (random, clean catch, Foley cath) with no growth will be reported as final in 1 day.
  • Cultures on invasive specimens (straight cath, suprapubic, cystoscopic) with no growth will be reported as final in 2 days.
  • Final results for most urine cultures are available within 48 hours.
  • Reports on positive specimens may require 2-3 days for final reports due to more extensive testing.
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is not done on every specimen. Contact the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory 248-551-8090 for more information.

Reference Range

No growth.

Test Methodology

Aerobic culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.


By report.

Clinical Utility

This assay is used to isolate and identify potentially pathogenic organisms causing urinary tract infections.


  1. McCarter, Y.S., E.M. Burd, G.S. Hall, and M. Zervos. 2009. Cumitech 2C, Laboratory diagnosis of urinary tract infections. Coord. ed. S.E. Sharp. ASM Press. Washington, D.C.

CPT Codes

87086, 87088.


Last Updated


Microtainer® and Vacutainer® are registered trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company.
UroVysion® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. ThinPrep® is a registered trademark of Hologic, Incorporated.


This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.