Cytopathology: Pulmonary

CPT Code(s):

  • 88112
  • 88108
  • 88104
  • 88106

Additional CPT codes may apply if special studies are required.

Specimen Requirements:

A direct smear of material is required. Two clean glass slides (single-end frosted), fixative (95% ethanol) and a request form are required for this procedure. Collect only 1 – 2 drops of specimen fluid or scrapings on the center of one of the labeled slides. Place the clean labeled slide face down on the slide with the specimen on it and let the specimen slowly spread out between the two slides. Working quickly, separate the two slides like opening a book, which will result in a mirror-image specimen. Do not press the two slides together. Immediately fix the
slides in 95% ETOH.

Body fluid specimens may include the following:

  • Sputum;
  • Brushings and washings;
  • Transbronchial FNA;
  • Percutaneous FNA; and
  • Pleural fluid

We recommend for specimens to be transported to the lab immediately. If immediate transportation is unavailable, place 30 mL of effusions/washings into ThinPrep® or SurePath® medium. If CytoLyt is unavailable, place the specimen into a sterile container with 3 units of heparin and refrigerate it.

Storage/Transport Temperature: Submit specimens according to Biological Substance, Category B, shipping guidelines.

Unacceptable Conditions: Frozen, sterile container > 2 hours without heparin

Stability (collection to initiation of testing):

  • Ambient:
    • Slides: Indefinitely
    • Sterile Container: 2 Hours
    • ThinPrep®: 3 Weeks
    • SurePath®: 4 Weeks
  • Refrigerated: 24 hours


This test is used in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions, including lung cancer.




1 – 3 days