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Body Fluid Culture

Ordering Info & Methodology

Test Code

Cerner Synonyms


Culture Body Fluid, Fluid C&S, Body Fluids Culture, Sterile, fluid, aspirate, ascites, ascitic, dialysate, pleural, effusion, pericardial, synovial, joint

Turn Around Time


Routine Culture (Aerobes & Anaerobes), Fungal Culture, Mycobacterial Culture

Ordering Guide

Specimen Requirements

Sample Type

Collection Container

Alternate Collection Containers

Body Fluid

C&S Container

Add on stability
This is the length of time after sample collection that this analyte is stable. Test can be added to a previously collected sample if the time since collection is less than the add on stability time.

Minimum Volume

Add On Stability

Collection and Shipping Requirements

Dialysates, pleural fluid, and any specimen that may be contaminated with fecal flora should be refrigerated if collected after-hours. Synovial fluid should be kept at room temperature if submitted after-hours.

Reference Intervals

Female Reference Interval

Age Category
Reference Interval

Male Reference Interval

Age Category
Reference Interval
Additional Notes

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Measurement Uncertainty (MU)
Every laboratory value is an estimate of the true concentration of substance. MU is the 95% confidence interval around that estimate. 95% of the time, the true concentration will be within the range of the reported value ±MU. This value is based on analytical variability (precision) and does not reflect other factors such as sample collection and handling which may also affect the result.


Reported sodium = 140 mmol/L
Sodium MU = 1%
Expanded uncertainty = 140 mmol/L ± 1% or 140mmol/L ± 1.4 mmol/L
Interpretation - the true value of sodium in the sample is in the range 138.6-141.4 mmol/L, with 95% confidence.

Measurement Uncertainty

Submit as large a volume as possible in a C&S container or in a capped syringe (without the needle) if used for collection.  Do not submit citrated specimens for culture.  If the specimen is likely to form a clot, inoculate a portion of the fluid into a pediatric blood culture vial (available from Microbiology) immediately after collection.

There are separate instructions for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

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