Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for CSF Culture

Test Name: CSF Culture
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Microbiology (VH)
Specimen Type: Cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture, shunt or drain
Collection Information: Suggested Volumes:
Routine Culture (C&S) - minimum required for testing is 1 mL
Fungus Culture - 2 mL
Mycobacterium Culture - greater than or equal 2 mL
Virus Culture - 1-2 mL

Submit tube # 2 or the most turbid tube to Microbiology. Transport immediately.

Shunt Fluid - Clean the reservoir site with antiseptic solution and alcohol. Collect fluid through the reservoir unit and place it in a sterile tube.

Indicate method of collection on requsition.
Test Schedule: Daily
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
Lumbar Puncture: 4 days
Shunts or Drains: 5 days
Gram Stain: 1 hour
Reference Range:  
Effective Date: 2008-06-05
Revised Date:  
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Shunt associated infection should be assessed using results from more than one culture.
Special Processing:  
Method of Analysis: Microscopic, culture
Critical Information Required: Indicate method of collection i.e LP or drain on orders.
Storage & Shipment: The specimen must be stored at room temperature.

The specimen must be received within 24 hours of collection.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul