Pathology Handbook

Joint fluid (microbiology)


Joint aspirates

Clinical Indications


Test Includes

Microscopy for white blood cells (cell count), organisms (gram stain)
Culture for aerobic and anaerobic organisms and Gonococci

Request Form 

Request via ICE
If microscopy for crystals is also required please send Cellular Pathology request form in addition to ICE request; the sample will be passed on following culture


On request

Specific Criteria

Please give detailed clinical information, including date of onset and any current or intended antibiotic therapy

Turnaround Time

Microscopy - same day
Culture - 48 hours for a negative report, up to a further 48 hours for isolation, identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing of any bacteria


Joint fluid, white capped Universal


Urine bottle white top


Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled / inadequately labelled sample

Lab Handling

Process on receipt