Sputum, lung cytology
Sputum (deep cough)
Cytology fixative, specimen container. Collect specimen in a sterile container as fresh or with cytology fixative. If fresh, must transport within 2 hours. If in fixative, must transport within 24 hours.
Unfixed specimens are stable for 2 hours at room temperature. Specimens fixed in cytology fixative are stable for 24 hours. Unfixed specimens which are not transported within 2 hours must be refrigerated immediately, and can remain stable for 3 days unless specimen was collected using saline.
Unlabeled specimens, Specimens in incorrect fixative (such as formalin) can only be processed as a cell block. Saliva is not acceptable.
Specimen: 7 days
Slides: 10 years
Sputum specimens which are collected over the course of 3 days as individual specimens may be combined and submitted as one collection. However, all specimens must remain refrigerated or be in cytology fixative during the 3-day span.
*The listed CPT codes are for reference use only. Final coding is based on CPT guidelines and individual circumstances.