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Culture, chlamydia, any source

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Chlamydia Culture Test


A chlamydia culture test is a laboratory procedure used to detect the presence of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis in a sample taken from the patient. This test helps diagnose chlamydia infections.


Chlamydia culture tests are used to diagnose chlamydia infections, which are sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The goal is to identify the presence of the bacteria to initiate appropriate treatment and prevent complications such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or transmission to sexual partners.


  • Symptoms such as abnormal genital discharge, burning during urination, or pelvic pain.
  • High-risk sexual behavior.
  • Unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • Screening in pregnant women to prevent transmission to the newborn.
  • Follow-up to inconclusive results from other chlamydia tests.


  • Patients should avoid urination for at least 1-2 hours before the test if a urine sample is required.
  • Women may be advised to avoid using vaginal creams or douches 24 hours before the test.
  • Inform the healthcare provider about any medication they are taking as some may affect the test results.

Procedure Description

  1. Sample Collection:
    • Urine Sample: The patient provides a first-catch urine sample.
    • Swab Sample: A healthcare provider uses a sterile swab to collect a sample from the vagina, cervix, urethra, rectum, or throat.
  2. Laboratory Analysis:
    • The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is cultured to detect the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
  3. Diagnosis:
    • Results are usually available in a few days, indicating whether the bacteria are present and if the patient has a chlamydia infection.


The sample collection process typically takes a few minutes. Laboratory analysis usually takes 2-3 days.


The sample collection can take place in a doctor's office, outpatient clinic, or hospital.


  • Healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, or technician) for sample collection.
  • Laboratory technicians for sample analysis.

Risks and Complications

  • Mild discomfort during swab sample collection.
  • Rare risk of infection or bleeding at the sample collection site.
  • False-negative results if the sample is not properly collected or handled.


  • Accurate diagnosis of chlamydia infection.
  • Helps in timely treatment initiation.
  • Prevents serious health complications and transmission to others.
  • Test results are usually available within a few days.


  • No recovery time needed as it is a minimally invasive procedure.
  • Patients can resume normal activities immediately after sample collection.


  • Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs): More commonly used due to higher sensitivity and faster results.
  • Direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test: Less commonly used but available as an alternative.

Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

  • NAATs:
    • Pros: Higher sensitivity, faster results, less invasive (can be done with urine).
    • Cons: More expensive.
  • DFA:
    • Pros: Immediate results if microscopy is on-site, lower cost.
    • Cons: Lower sensitivity, requires special equipment.

Patient Experience

  • Some discomfort during the swab collection, comparable to a pap smear.
  • Minimal discomfort for urine sample collection.
  • Mild anxiety while waiting for results, but procedures are generally well-tolerated.
  • Pain relief or comfort measures are not typically necessary due to the simple and quick nature of the test.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Culture, chlamydia, any source

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