Geisinger Medical Laboratories Test Catalog

Order Display Name: Geisinger Epic Procedure Code Or ID CPT Code:  


Geisinger Epic Procedure Code: LAB2143             Geisinger Epic ID: 47520

Specimen type:
Throat, nasal/nares, tonsil
NOTE: For peritonsillar abcesses, order Culture, Wound, Deep, Aerobic or Aerobic and Anaerobic.
Preferred collection container:
Alternate Collection Container:
Amies or Liquid Stuarts Swab
Specimen required:
One swab
Special notes:
Concerns for Group A Strep may be better addressed by a more sensitive method, such as PCR (see Group A Strep, PCR). Throat specimens are routinely cultured for all beta-hemolytic streptococci and Arcanobacterium only. Exceptions require doctoral director approval. Requests for Corynebacterium diphtheriae cannot be performed by respiratory culture. Please contact GML referred testing department for further instructions.

Nares/nasal specimens are routinely cultured for Group A Streptococcus and S. aureus only.

See Respiratory Culture Ordering Practices for additional information.

Transport temperature:
Eswab/other culture swab: Room temperature or refrigerated.
Specimen stability:
Eswab/other culture swab: < 72 hours.
Rejection criteria:
Improperly labeled/identified specimens. Expired collection device/swab. Grossly contaminated specimens. Delay in transport or transport at wrong temperature.

Reference interval:
Throat: No beta-hemolytic streptococci or Arcanobacterium isolated.
Nasal/Nares: No Group A beta streptococcus or S. aureus isolated.
Tonsil: No growth. Normal flora, if applicable.
Additional information:
Gram stains are not routinely performed from these specimen sources due to the high burden of normal pharyngeal flora.
CPT code(s):
Note: The billing party has sole responsibility for CPT coding.  Any questions regarding coding should be directed to the payer being billed.  The CPT codes provided by GML are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only.
Test includes:
Isolation, semi-quantitation, and identification of target pathogens and semi-quantitation of normal flora, where applicable. Bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing performed as appropriate. Additional charges may apply.
Respiratory, nasal, nares, throat, tonsil, MRSA screen
Clinical significance:
Significance is determined by relating the growth of a particular microorganism to a specific body site/disease.
Doctoral Director(s:)
Donna Wolk PhD, D(ABMM), Raquel Martinez, PhD, D(ABMM)    
Review Date: 12/31/2022

Performing Locations

Geisinger Medical Center

Performing laboratory: Microbiology
Technical Lead: Barbara Shoemaker
Frequency: Daily, all shifts
Performed STAT? No
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