Veripath Test Directory

Epic Test Name AFB SMEAR
Synonyms Acid Fast Bacilli, Mycobacteria, TB
Description Detection of acid-fast bacilli in clinical specimens.
Specimen Requirements 
Container Sterile plastic container (leakproof); CSF Vial
Specimen Type Sputum & bronch washing; CSF; body fluids & exudates; tissue; stool; urine
Preferred Collection Volume CSF: 5-10mL; Sputum, BAL, bronchial wash: 5-10mL; Stool: 1gm or 1-5mL liquid stool; Tissue: Pea-sized (0.5-1cm³); Urine: 40-50mL; Body fluid: As much as possible; Gastric aspirate: 5-10mL.
Minimum Collection Volume CSF: 1-2mL; Sputum, BAL, bronchial wash: 5mL; Stool: 1gm; Tissue: 0.5cm³; Urine: 10-20mL; Body fluid: >20mL; Gastric aspirate: 5mL.
Collection Instructions Sputum & bronchial wash: Recommend 3 sputum samples collected at least 8 hrs apart. One of the 3 samples should be collected in the early morning. Stability (collection to initiation of testing): Ambient: 24 hrs; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 1 week
Specimen Handling CSF: Capped syringe (no needle) is acceptable; Tissue: whole tissue preferred to swab specimens; Urine: 1st morning specimen
Rejection Criteria Dry material or material collected and transported on a swab.
Methodology Auramine-Rhodamine Stain
Reference Range No organisms seen.
CPT Code(s) 87206 Acid-fast stain; 87015 Concentration
Department Microbiology
Contact Information Ph: 214-633-4940
Turn Around Time< 24 hrs
Performed Saturday - Sunday
Performed by Microbiology
Notes An AFB stain performed without culture is appropriate only when following respiratory specimens on previously diagnosed patients. Studies have shown that AFB stain without culture has a poor negative predictive value. For a higher predictive value, order AFB culture (VAFBC) which adds an AFB stain.
Updated/Reviewed 02/22/2018