Viral Culture, Rapid, Respiratory

CPT: 87254(x7)
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  • Culture, Viral, General
  • General Viral Culture
  • Routine Viral Culture
  • Viral Respiratory Culture
  • Virus Culture/Isolation

Test Includes

Shell vials or equivalent multiwell plate cell culture; identification (additional charges/CPT code[s] may apply) by fluorescent antibody or other methods if culture results warrant. CPT coding for microbiology and virology procedures often cannot be determined before the culture is performed. The culture is for the isolation of common respiratory viruses that include adenovirus; influenza A; influenza B; parainfluenza 1, 2, and 3; and respiratory syncytial virus. Other viruses will not be routinely detected; however, if a virus other than those specified for this culture is recovered, identification will be made and an additional charge will apply. The client will not be contacted to approve this charge.

Special Instructions

Submit one specimen per test requested. Specify the exact specimen source/origin (eg, nasopharynx). Indicate a specific test number on the request form. Age of patient, relevant vaccinations, and pertinent clinical history are helpful. Whenever a viral etiology is suspected and whenever appropriate, acute and convalescent serum should be collected for viral serology tests.

Expected Turnaround Time

4 - 5 days

Related Documents

For more information, please view the literature below.

Comprehensive Influenza Testing

Specimen Requirements


Nasopharyngeal (NP) aspirate or wash, NP swab


1 mL fluid or one swab in transport


Viral, Chlamydia, or Mycoplasma culture transport provided by LabCorp, or other appropriate transport medium; sterile screw-cap tube or container for nasal washings or bronchoalveolar lavage


Specimen should be collected during acute phase of disease.

Throat swab: Carefully rub the posterior wall of the nasopharynx with a dry, sterile swab. Avoid touching the tongue or buccal mucosa. Place swab in viral transport tube.

Storage Instructions

Specimen must be kept cold and moist.

Causes for Rejection

Bacterial swab specimen; specimen received in grossly leaking transport container; dry specimen; specimen submitted in fixative or additives; 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; wooden shaft swab in transport device; unlabeled specimen or name discrepancy between specimen and request label

Test Details


Aid in the diagnosis of viral respiratory disease


Inoculation of specimen into shell vials or equivalent multiwell plate cell cultures, and identification by DFA or other methods

Reference Interval

No virus isolated

Additional Information

Give date of onset of illness, date of collection, and brief clinical description or the provisional diagnosis.


Drew WL. Controversies in viral diagnosis. Rev Infect Dis. 1986; 8(5):814-824. 3024292
Garber M, Vestal D, Albright E, et al. Comparison of R-Mix Fresh Cells™ (Mink Lusg/A54a Mixed Cell Line) and Rhesus monkey cells for the detection of respiratory viruses. Abstract S6. 16th Annual Virology Conference, Clearwater, Fla; 2000.
Harmon MW, Kendal AP. Influenza viruses. In: Balows A, Hausler WJ, et al, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 5th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press;1991: 868-877.
Korones SB. Uncommon virus infections of the mother, fetus, and newborn: Influenza, mumps, and measles. Clin Perinatol. 1988; 15(2):259-272 (review). 3288423
Lennette DA. Preparation of specimens for virological examination. In: Balows A, Hausler WJ, et al, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 5th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press;1991:818-821.
Shaw MW, Arden NH, Maassab HF. New aspects of influenza viruses. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1992; 5(1):74-92 (review). 1310439
Van Voris LP. Influenza viruses. In: Belshe RB, ed.Textbook of Human Virology. Littleton, Mass: PSG Publishing Co;1984:267-297.


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186016 Adenovirus 55095-4
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186017 Influenza A 48310-7
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186018 Influenza B 38382-8
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186019 Parainfluenza 1 55097-0
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186020 Parainfluenza 2 55098-8
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186021 Parainfluenza 3 55099-6
186015 Viral Cult, Rapid, Respiratory 55101-0 186022 Respiratory Syncytial Virus 55100-2

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