Urine specimens are collected for culture and for cytologic examination to detect malignancy. Separate specimens should be collected if both culture and cytologic examination are required.
Specimen Collection for Culture
- Unwanted contamination of the urinary stream by the external genitalia should be minimized by first cleaning the genitalia with the cleaning towelette provided in the specimen collection kit.
- The specimen should be mid-stream, i.e., the patient should urinate, and then without interrupting the urinary stream, collect the mid-portion of the stream in the specimen container.
- The specimen should be collected in a sterile container and refrigerated if there is a delay in delivery to the laboratory.
Specimen Collection for Cytologic Examination
- Because urine contains chemicals that alter the epithelial cells, a good specimen is dependent upon a dilute specimen and prompt fixation.
- Collect the specimen on the day that it will be sent to the laboratory. Do not collect on a weekend or a public holiday.
- Instruct the patient to discard the first morning urine specimen , and then drink six cups of fluid (water, juice, coffee, tea) before collecting the specimen.
- The specimen should be collected in the office instead of the patient’s home, to ensure that the specimen is as fresh as possible.
- Collect the specimen in a screw-top container and secure lid to prevent leakage.
- The specimen container should be less than half full but the specimen should at least be 20 cc in volume.
- Add an equal volume of 50 percent alcohol (ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol) to the specimen to preserve the cells.
- Refrigerate the specimen if there is a delay in delivery to the laboratory.
- Complete the Calpath requisition form per instructions.
After collecting the specimen, please do the following:
- Place the specimen in the Calpath specimen bag.
- Place the requisition form in the side slot of the Calpath specimen bag.
- Call Calpath for a pick-up or place the Calpath specimen bag in the location where our courier usually picks up your daily specimens.