Ordering Recommendation

Panel includes PCR testing to detect M. tuberculosis complex isolates and determine possible resistance to rifampin treatment. Test may be ordered for client-processed specimens. Refer to specimen requirements.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Respiratory specimens, CSF, pleural fluid, or tissue.

Specimen Preparation

Unprocessed Specimens: Transport 5-10 mL respiratory specimen, CSF or pleural fluid (Min: 1 mL) in a sterile container, or tissue large enough to be ground. Label as unprocessed.
Processed Specimens: Transport 2-5 mL digested/decontaminated respiratory specimen, CSF, pleural fluid, or tissue in a sterile container. (Min: 1 mL)
Place each specimen in an individually sealed bag.

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Blood, paraffin blocks, stool, swabs, and urine.


Specimen source required. Processed Specimens: Identify method used for digestion and provide smear results.


Unprocessed: Ambient: 3 days; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 1 month 
: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 1 month


Qualitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)




1-3 days

Reference Interval

Interpretive Data

Mycobacterial culture is a more sensitive method than molecular testing for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and is still considered the gold standard. When possible, a culture must be performed regardless of the molecular method test result.

Compliance Category

Depends on Specimen/Source/Method


Body fluids other than pleural fluid will be run with a disclaimer.

Specimen source required. To perform this test, it is essential to know whether or not the submitted specimen has been processed (digestion and decontamination procedure). If processed, smear results must be provided as a comment on the test order or requisition. Delayed turnaround time will occur if the required information is not provided.

After a positive result, repeat orders for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Detection and Rifampin Resistance by PCR will continue to yield a positive result and repeat testing is not clinically indicated.

The Xpert MTB/RIF test performance has not been evaluated with samples from pediatric patients.

Hotline History


CPT Codes

87556; 87798


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
2010776 MTBRIF Source 31208-2
2010777 Mycobacterium Tuberculosis by PCR 38379-4
2010778 MTB Rifampin by PCR 89372-7
2010779 MTB Cmplx Interpretation 93479-4
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • MC MTD
Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Detection and Rifampin Resistance by PCR