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Unlisted microbiology procedure

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Unlisted Microbiology Procedure


An unlisted microbiology procedure refers to a specialized test or technique used to identify microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, that may not fall under standard categories. These procedures help diagnose infections and guide the appropriate treatment.


The procedure aims to detect unusual, rare, or hard-to-identify pathogens that standard tests may miss. This can be crucial for diagnosing complex infections or conditions with unknown cause.


  • Persistent or unexplained infections
  • Symptoms not resolving with usual treatments
  • When standard microbiology tests fail to identify the pathogen
  • Immune-compromised patients with atypical infections
  • Cases requiring precise microbial identification for tailored treatments


  • Fasting may be required if blood samples are needed.
  • Follow instructions on medication adjustments, as some drugs might interfere with results.
  • Diagnostic assessments, such as imaging or preliminary cultures, may be necessary before the procedure.

Procedure Description

  1. Sample Collection: Depending on the infection site, samples can include blood, tissue, fluid, or swabs.
  2. Transport and Storage: Samples are promptly transported to the lab under specific conditions to preserve the integrity.
  3. Laboratory Analysis: Advanced techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), mass spectrometry, or genomic sequencing are used to identify the pathogen.
  4. Interpretation: Results are analyzed by microbiologists to determine the microorganism's type and potential antibiotic resistance.


The procedure can range from a few hours to several days, depending on the complexity and specific tests required.


Typically performed in specialized laboratories within hospitals or dedicated microbiology labs.


  • Microbiologists
  • Lab technicians
  • Pathologists

Risks and Complications

  • Risk of sample contamination
  • Potential delayed results
  • False positives or negatives, although rare


  • Accurate identification of unusual or resistant pathogens
  • More targeted and effective treatment plans
  • Better management of persistent or severe infections


No recovery needed from the procedure itself, but the patient may need to follow specific treatment plans based on results. Follow-up appointments will monitor the infection's response to the prescribed therapy.


  • Standard microbiological tests such as culture or serological tests.
  • Empirical treatment based on clinical judgment without precise microbial identification.
  • Imaging studies or other indirect diagnostic methods to infer the infection.

Patient Experience

  • Minimal discomfort related to sample collection (e.g., blood draw, swabbing).
  • Anxiety while awaiting results, which healthcare professionals can address.
  • Pain management if tissue biopsies or more invasive samples are required.

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