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Point of Care Testing
Pathology Lab Manual
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Acid Fast Bacilli Smear, stain for mycobacteria
Mycobacterial [AFB] smear only; no culture performed.
Sputum early morning deep cough to produce lower respiratory specimen, bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial brushing, sterile body fluids, tissue.
Volume and Container
Sterile sealed leak proof container
Storage and Transport
Maintain at room temperature and transport to Microbiology Laboratory within one hour.
Phone report of smears positive for acid fast organisms.
Causes for Rejection
Use of nonsterile container; Delay in transport; Improper labeling; Insufficient volume
Turn Around Time
Result available within 24 hours, unless ordered as STAT. Urgent test available on request with same day results.
Non-urgent sent to ARUP reference laboratory- see AFB culture; Urgent available same day
CPT / HCPCS Code
Culture still needed to be sent to reference lab. See Acid Fast Bacilli Culture Test.
> 1 mL
1 mL for most specimens; for CSF at least 5 mL; for urine at least 40 mL.
Suspected mycobacterial infection.
Microbiology BA-1672, 706-721-2807
Indicate medical necessity.
Fluorochrome acid fast stain. If positive, a Kinyoun stain is performed to confirm.
Observe for complications of collection procedure.
Sputum - See Collection Guidelines for Common Specimens; Bronchalveolar lavage, bronchial brushings and transbronchial biopsy - Contact Pulmonary Medicine for collection; Sterile body fluids - Collect using aseptic technique.
No acid fast organisms present.
Limitations and Contraindications
Weakly acid fast organisms may not be detected. Culture is more sensitive and is needed for organism identification and susceptibility testing.
CPOE Test Name
Created at 9/8/2014 5:56 PM by Bradshaw, Keir
Last modified at 11/11/2016 3:39 PM by McMullen, Allison R.
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