Lab Test

Culture, Wound - Deep

Wound Culture, Aerobic, Anaerobic, Deep, Fluid

Test Codes





  • Wound, Deep is defined as a wound that penetrates deeper than the dermis of the skin or is located in deep tissues.
  • Abscess is defined as a closed infected space that extends deeper than the dermis into deep tissues whose cavity may be encapsulated.
  • An aerobic and anaerobic culture is included as part of this test.
  • For tissue specimens, please refer to Culture, Tissue.
  • For surgical specimens, please refer to Culture, Surgical.
  • For fluid specimens obtained from a sterile site, please refer to Culture, Fluid.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One of the following specimens:

  1. (Preferred) Fluid specimen in a sterile collection container or sterile sealed syringe (without the needle). Optimal volume is 18-20 mL, but smaller quantities will be accepted. Do NOT submit the syringe with the needle attached.
  2. (Alternate) Specimen collected with an ESwab.

Non-sterile fluids include:

  • Ascitic fluid
  • Bile
  • Peritoneal dialysate
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Prostatic fluid

Collection Notes:

  • Anaerobic specimens must be protected from oxygen.
  • Biopsy specimens are optimal.
  • If it is necessary to collect the specimen with and ESwab, collect as much specimen as possible.
  • Transport all specimen types to the Laboratory immediately after collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Place specimen in a transport container immediately and maintain at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to specimen pickup. Do not refrigerate the specimen.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: All specimen types at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens submitted in containers that contain formalin or have previously contained formalin.
  • Specimens in non-sterile or leaking containers. 
  • Desiccated (dry) samples.
  • Specimens that have been delayed in transit.

Inpatient Specimen Preparation

Transport specimen to the Laboratory immediately after collection.

In-Lab Processing

If a deep wound culture is ordered on an inappropriate site/source, the order will be changed to match the appropriate test code.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 4 hours (Not in transport system)
Room Temperature (20-25°C or 68-77°F): 24 hours (In transport system)
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable for genital sources
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


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.

Reference Range

No organisms recovered.

Test Methodology

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


The recovery of aerobic/anaerobic organisms from an appropriate, properly collected specimen may be indicative of an infectious disease process.

Reflex Testing

  • If an anaerobic isolate is found in the aerobic culture, the anaerobic isolate will reflex to an anaerobic culture.
  • Mold obtained from bacterial cultures will be reflexed to the Mycology Laboratory for identification (sterile sites only). 

Clinical Utility

This test is used to recover and identify aerobic/anaerobic bacteria that may be involved in an infectious process.


  1. Vandamme, P.A.R., 2015. Specimen Collection, Transport, and Processing: Bacteriology. Jorgensen, J.H., Editor-in-Chief. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 11th edition. ASM Press. Washington, D.C.
  2. Carson, J.A., 2016. Wound/Abscess and Soft Tissue Cultures. Clinical Microbiology Procedure Handbook, 4th Edition. Leber, A.L. (ed), ASM Press. Washington, D.C.
  3. Hall, G.S. and J. Holden, 2016. Collection and Transport of Clinical Specimens for Anaerobic Culture. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. 4th ed. ASM Press. Washington, D.C.

CPT Codes

87070 (Aerobic Culture), 87075 (Anaerobic Culture), 87205 (Gram Stain). Additional charges will be incurred for identification and susceptibility testing.
LOINC:  43407-6


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