Viral Culture, Respiratory and Cytomegalovirus Rapid Culture
Ordering Recommendation
Molecular diagnostics are preferred for suspected invasive CMV.
Cell Culture/Immunofluorescence
Viral Culture: 3-16 days
Cytomegalovirus Rapid Culture: 1-5 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), nasopharyngeal aspirate, swab, or washing, or tracheal aspirate, sputum, throat, tissue (lung, etc.).  
Specimen Preparation
Fluid: Transfer to sterile, leak-proof container.
Swabs or Tissue:
Place in viral transport media (ARUP Supply #12884). Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect ™or contact ARUP Client Services at (800) 522-2787. Place each specimen in a separate, individually sealed bag.  
Storage/Transport Temperature
Unacceptable Conditions
Calcium alginate, eSwab, dry, or wood swabs.  
Specimen source preferred.  
Ambient: 2 hours; Refrigerated: 72 hours; Frozen: Unacceptable  
Reference Interval
Interpretive Data
Identification is billed separately from culture. Viruses that can be isolated include: adenovirus; cytomegalovirus; enterovirus; herpes simplex virus; influenza A and B; parainfluenza types 1, 2, 3; RSV; and varicella-zoster virus. However, virus-specific tests are recommended for varicella-zoster virus (order Varicella-Zoster Virus DFA with Reflex to Varicella-Zoster Virus Culture, ARUP test code 0060282) and RSV (order Respiratory Syncytial Virus DFA Stain, ARUP test code 0060288). Antigen detection is available for respiratory viruses (order Respiratory Viruses DFA Stain, ARUP test code 0060289) and may be requested in conjunction with culture.

For measles virus culture, order Measles (Rubeola) Virus Culture (ARUP test code 0065055). For mumps virus culture, order Mumps Virus Culture (ARUP test code 0065056).

If a specific virus is suspected, please indicate which virus on the test request.
CPT Code(s)
87252; 87254; if definitive identification performed, add 87253
Component Test Code*Component Chart Name
2006497Viral Culture, Resp and CMV Culture
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, contact interface support at
Cross References
  • Adenovirus Culture
  • CMV culture
  • CMV rapid culture
  • culture for virus
  • cytomegalovirus
  • enterovirus
  • herpes simplex virus
  • HSV culture
  • influenza A and B
  • parainfluenza types 1, 2, 3
  • RSV cutlure
  • varicella-zoster virus
  • VSV culture