Cytopathology: Urine and Bladder Washes and Brushings

CPT Code(s):

88108, 88112, 88106

Additional CPT codes may apply if special studies are required. See UroVysion – FISH in this directory for further CPT codes.

Specimen Requirements:

Collection: Send fresh, refrigerated specimens directly for best results. If the specimen is to be sent a long distance in ambient temperatures, spin the specimen down (50 cc) and add it to ThinPrep® or SurePath® preservative containers for liquid-based processing. See below for specific urological collection methods.

We recommend for specimens to be transported to the lab immediately. If immediate transportation is unavailable, place 30 mL of the specimen 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:
    • Sterile Container: 2 Hours
    • ThinPrep®: 3 Weeks
    • SurePath®: 4 Weeks
  • Refrigerated: 24 hours


Urine cytology is commonly performed to detect urologic malignancies. The method of specimen collection, as well as time of collection, will affect the cytologic evaluation in many instances.




1 – 3 days