Virology Laboratory Culture and Ordering Changes

Friday, December 22, 2006 at 9:45:53 AM

The Microbiology laboratory is pleased to announce that beginning 1/2/2007, there will be several changes to the laboratory’s test menu in an effort to improve services and decrease turn-around-time for reporting of final results. No changes in specimen collection are required

1) Herpes simplex- We will offer a new, rapid culture system in conjunction with enzymatic detection of Herpes simplex virus by ELVIS (Enzyme Linked Virus Inducible System). A final report will be available within one day of processing. Specimens will be processed Sunday through Thursday on specimens received by 1pm. All specimens received after 1 pm on Thursday will be completed by Monday. Any request for Herpes simplex will be processed using this new procedure and will significantly decrease the time to a final report. Please make sure to mark the Herpes simplex box on the outpatient order form to ensure proper testing and indicate the source as usual. Herpes typing is still available upon request with an additional charge. CPT Code: 87255.

2) Respiratory Viral Cultures- We will offer rapid viral culture for 7 respiratory viruses using a new cell line that allows for enhanced virus isolation and decreased turn-around-time to final culture results. Positive cultures are identified by fluorescent staining. Results will be available within 72 hours of specimen processing, which is Sunday through Friday on specimens received by 1pm. All specimens with negative Influenza antigen results and other respiratory specimens requested for viral culture will now be tested using this new methodology. As currently handled, specimens ordered for RSV antigen testing will not be cultured unless culture is specifically ordered.

The 7 viruses that will be cultured and stained for are: Influenza A, Influenza B, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza 1,2 and 3 and Adenovirus. CPT code for Negative culture: 87254 x2. CPT for ID of positive cultures: 87140 x7.

NOTE: If Herpes simplex or Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a concern from upper respiratory tract specimens (e.g. nasopharyngeal, throat, or nasal swab) you must specifically request testing for these viruses. Lower respiratory specimens (e.g. bronchial wash,lavage,ET aspirates) will be screened for these viruses in addition to the 7 respiratory viruses. Additional culture and staining charge for positives.

3) To better reflect the testing performed, the test name “Culture, Viral Herpes zoster”, commonly used to culture skin lesions, will be changed to “Culture,Viral Skin”. The test currently includes culture for Herpes simplex and Varicella (Herpes) zoster. If other viruses are suspected, please indicate what other viruses should be included in the viral culture.

Please contact Diane Madison at 763-6869 if there are any questions. Changes will be made to the Outpatient order form in the near future to reflect these changes.


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