Viral Culture, Rapid, Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

CPT: 87254
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  • CMV Culture
  • Culture, Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Test Includes

Shell vials or equivalent multiwell plate culture. Cultures are stained and reported 48 hours and four days after receipt. CPT coding for microbiology and virology procedures often cannot be determined before the culture is performed. This culture is for the isolation of cytomegalovirus, other viral agents may 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.

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, urine). Indicate a specific test number on the test request form.

Expected Turnaround Time

5 - 7 days

Related Documents

Specimen Requirements


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


10 to 14 mL blood, 4 mL urine


Sterile leakproof urine container or two green-top (heparin) tubes or viral transport tube (throat, cervical, semen, biopsy sources).

Either sodium heparin or lithium heparin tubes are acceptable for this test.


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

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.

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

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; specimen 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

Test Details


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


Shell vials or equivalent multiwell plate 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.


Griffiths PD, Grundy JE. The status of CMV as a human pathogen. Epidemiol Infect. 1988; 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
186049 Viral Culture, Rapid, CMV 5838-8 186049 Viral Culture, Rapid, CMV 5838-8
Reflex Table for Viral Culture, Rapid, CMV
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 186048 Viral Identification 186048 Viral Identification 615-5

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