Pleural fluid




  • All pleural aspirates are routinely cultured for Mycobacterium spp

Sample requirements

30mL sterile Universal

  • A minimum volume of 1 mL is required, but a larger volume is desirable if possible
  • Samples must be decanted into a 30mL sterile universal container
  • The laboratory cannot accept samples in suction drainage bottles
30 mL sterile Universal

Required information

  • Any suspicion of TB
  • Immunocompromise
  • Recent, current and intended antibiotics


Samples should be transported to the laboratory with minimal delay.  Refrigerate samples if transport is delayed.

Turnaround time

Microscopy results on day of receipt

Culture results 2 – 3 days

Page last reviewed: 19/05/2014