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CSF Culture

Ordering Info & Methodology

Test Code

Cerner Synonyms


CSF C&S, Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Culture, Cerebrospinal, fluid, csf, spinal, tap, lp, lumbar, puncture, meningitis

Turn Around Time



Ordering Guide

Specimen Requirements

Sample Type

Collection Container

Alternate Collection Containers

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Sterile centrifuge tube in lumbar puncture (LP) set

1mL for CSF; add 0.5mL to the designated tube for each additional microbiology test

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

Deliver to Microbiology immediately. Hand directly to a technologist.

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

This is a STAT procedure.  Deliver all tubes and requisitions to the Laboratory Accessioning Department.  The specimen will be divided as necessary and transported to other areas of the lab.

Please indicate special requests for Cryptococcal antigen, Fungal culture, Mycobacterial culture.

Virus NAT: See Virology services (filter by Virology department)

Syphilis: This test is referred out (require BC CDC requisition)

Non-viral serology tests (e.g., Toxoplasmosis, Lyme disease): These tests are referred out (BC CDC) and require a serum specimen to be submitted at the same time.

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