Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Culture

CPT: 87252; 87254
Print Share

Test Details


  • CMV Culture
  • Culture, Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Test Includes

Shell vial or equivalent multiwell plate and conventional culture. Shell vial cultures are stained at 48 hours and four days after receipt. Cultures positive by shell vial are reported as final; cultures negative by shell vial are continued for a total of three weeks. CPT coding for microbiology and virology procedures often cannot be determined before the culture is performed. Requests with only a written order and no test number indicated will be processed according to Default Testing for Virology.

This culture is for the isolation of cytomegalovirus; other viral agents will not be routinely detected. If a virus other than the one specified for this virus-specific culture is recovered, identification will be made and an additional charge will apply. The client will not be telephoned to approve this charge.


Aid in the diagnosis of disease caused by CMV (eg, viral infections, pneumonia, and organ transplant-related disease)


Conventional tissue culture and shell vial cell cultures; FA confirmation

Additional Information

CMV infections are common and are often asymptomatic, but can be severe and life-threatening in immunocompromised patients including organ recipients and AIDS patients. CMV is the most frequent cause of congenital viral infections in humans and occurs in about 1% of all newborns. Approximately 90% have no clinical symptoms at birth. Ten percent to 20% of these infants will develop complications before school age. Congenital infection may occur as a result of either primary or recurrent maternal infection. Serology for the detection of cytomegalovirus is available.

Specimen Requirements


Blood, urine, buffy coat, throat, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), bronchial washings, cervical, semen, biopsy sources, or bone marrow


10 to 14 mL blood or 4 mL urine


Two green-top (heparin) tubes; sterile leakproof urine container; viral, Chlamydia, or Mycoplasma culture transport provided by LabCorp, or other appropriate transport medium (throat, cervical, semen, biopsy sources)


Bronchoalveolar lavage: Submit 10 to 50 mL fluid in sterile leakproof container and refrigerate.

Urine: A first morning clean catch urine should be submitted in a sterile screw-cap container. Refrigerate immediately and ship at 4°C. Do not freeze.

Blood/buffy coat/bone marrow: Collect two green-top (heparin) tubes. Transport at room temperature as soon as possible. Do not freeze.

Other: Collect a viral transport for throat, cervical, semen, and biopsy sources. Refrigerate immediately and ship at 4°C. Do not freeze.

Storage Instructions

Do not freeze. Maintain blood at room temperature; other specimen sources should be refrigerated.

Causes for Rejection

Bacterial swab specimen; specimen received in grossly leaking transport container; dry specimen; specimens submitted in fixative or additive; specimen received in expired transport media or incorrect transport device; inappropriate specimen transport conditions; specimen received after prolonged delay in transport (usually more than 72 hours); specimen stored or transported at room temperature; specimen received frozen; wooden shaft swab in transport device; unlabeled specimen or name discrepancy between specimen and request label

Clinical Information

Special Instructions

If reflex test is performed, additional charges/CPT code(s) may apply. Submit one specimen per test requested. Specify the exact specimen source/origin (eg, genital lesion). Indicate a specific test number on the test request form. Check expiration date of transport; do not use expired devices.


Griffiths PD, Grundy JE. The status of CMV as a human pathogen. Epidemiol Infect. 1988 Feb; 100(1):1-15. 2828088
Hodinka RL, Friedman HM. Human cytomegalovirus. In: Balows A, Hausler WJ, et al, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 5th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press;1991:829-837.
Naragi S. Cytomegaloviruses. In: Belshe RB, ed. Textbook of Human Virology. Littleton, Mass: PSG Publishing Co;1984:887-927.


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
008201 Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Culture 5838-8 008201 Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Culture 5838-8
Reflex Table for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Culture
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 008202 Viral Identification 008202 Viral Identification 615-5

For Providers

Please login to order a test.


© 2018  Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings and Lexi-Comp Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CPT Statement/Profile Statement

The LOINC® codes are copyright © 1994-2018, Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Committee. Permission is granted in perpetuity, without payment of license fees or royalties, to use, copy, or distribute the LOINC® codes for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, subject to the terms under the license agreement found at Additional information regarding LOINC® codes can be found at, including the LOINC Manual, which can be downloaded at