Cystic Fibrosis Respiratory Culture

Test Mnemonic


CPT Codes

  • 87070 - QTY (1)




  • CF
  • CF culture

Performing Laboratory

Cleveland Clinic Laboratories

Specimen Requirements

Volume Type Container Collect Temperature Transport Temperature Special Instructions
UnspecifiedSputumSterile containerAmbientRefrigeratedExpectorated or induced.
UnspecifiedThroatSwab, culturetteAmbientRefrigerated 


Environmental Condition Description
Ambient4 hours
Refrigerated24 hours

Days Performed

Sun - Sat

Turnaround Time

7 days


Name Description
Culture, Identification 

Reference Range

Special Info

Selective media are inoculated to optimize recovery of aerobic bacteria associated with infection in cystic fibrosis patients including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia complex, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Haemophilus influenzae, and other Gram-negative bacilli. Identification of B. cepacia complex species is confirmed by molecular testing performed at the B. cepacia Research Laboratory and Repository. Separate test orders are required to rule out the presence of mycobacteria, fungi, viruses, and atypical bacterial pathogens. If culture is positive, identification will be performed on clinically significant organisms at an additional charge. Identification CPT codes that may apply include: 87077, 87106, 87107, 87153, 87158. Antimicrobial susceptibilities are performed when indicated, and the following CPT codes may apply: 87181, 87184, 87185, 87186.

Clinical Info

Susceptibility testing is performed on potential pathogens in significant amounts (typically defined as moderate growth in sputum or tracheal aspirate specimens that is greater than normal background respiratory flora, =1,000 cfu/ml in protected brush samples, =10,000 cfu/ml in bronchoalveolar lavage samples).