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Culture, bacterial; quantitative, anaerobic with isolation and presumptive identification of isolates, any source except urine, blood or stool

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Culture, bacterial; quantitative, anaerobic with isolation and presumptive identification of isolates, any source except urine, blood or stool


This procedure involves taking a sample from a part of the body (other than urine, blood, or stool) and analyzing it in a lab to identify and count anaerobic bacteria—bacteria that thrive in environments without oxygen.


The procedure aims to diagnose infections caused by anaerobic bacteria, helping in deciding the appropriate treatment. Common conditions include abscesses, deep tissue infections, or post-surgical infections.


  • Persistent or recurrent infections
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Symptoms of an abscess, such as localized pain, swelling, and redness
  • Post-surgical infections without improvement with initial treatments


  • No specific preparations are usually required for the patient.
  • If a wound or abscess is the source, the area may need cleaning.
  • Any ongoing medications should be reported to the healthcare provider.

Procedure Description

  1. Sample Collection: A sterile swab or syringe is used to collect a sample from the infected site.
  2. Transport: The sample is placed in a special container that maintains an anaerobic environment and is sent to the lab.
  3. In the Lab: The sample is cultured in a specialized environment to grow anaerobic bacteria.
  4. Identification: Bacteria colonies are isolated and examined to identify the type of bacteria present, often using biochemical tests.
  5. Quantification: The amount of bacteria is measured to understand the severity of the infection.


The initial sample collection takes a few minutes. The lab analysis and culture process can take 3 to 7 days.


The sample collection is typically performed at a clinic or hospital. Lab analysis occurs in a specialized microbiology lab.


  • A nurse or doctor usually collects the sample.
  • Medical laboratory technologists conduct the culture and identification procedures.

Risks and Complications

  • Minimal risk during sample collection
  • Rare risks include minor bleeding or discomfort at the site of sample collection
  • Contamination of the sample could lead to inaccurate results


  • Accurate identification of the bacterial cause of infection
  • Helps in choosing the most effective antibiotic treatment
  • Potential for faster resolution of the infection


  • No specific post-procedure care is needed after sample collection.
  • Follow-up appointment may be needed to discuss results and treatment.
  • Patients should monitor the infection site and report any worsening symptoms.


  • Empirical antibiotic treatment without culture (may not be as effective)
  • Culture from different sources like blood or urine, though they serve different diagnostic purposes

Patient Experience

  • Sample collection might cause mild discomfort, especially if taken from a wound.
  • Little to no pain is expected post-procedure.
  • Results discussions will determine if further treatments are necessary, ensuring patient understanding of their condition and care plan.

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