Clostridium difficile assay

(C. difficile assay)

Test ID   LAB253
EPIC Order   C. Difficile Screen
CPT Code(s)   87324, 87449, 87493
Group/Individual Test   Group
Laboratory   Clinical Microbiology; 984-974-1805
Tube Station   82
Specimen Routine:
2-3 mL feces, see important Comments                     
2 hours at room temperature or 24 hours refrigerated             
Availability Routine: 3 times/day 
  STAT: Yes
Turnaround Time   12 hrs

Because of the highly sensitive nature of the testing algorithm, only 1 specimen should be submitted for testing.  Additional specimens will be accepted for new episodes of diarrheal disease that occur greater than 14 days after intial testing.  Do not send specimens if the patient has received laxatives in the previous 48 hours.  The specimen is stable for 2 hours at room temperature or 24 hours refrigerated. 

Colonization rates of up to 50% have been reported in infants.  Testing will not be performed on infants <2 years old of age due to high false positivity rate.

Test of cure specimens are not acceptable because false positives are common in treated patients.

In order to be acceptable for this assay, specimens must conform to the shape of the container.  Exceptions will be made only in the event of patient use of loperamide (Imodium) or similar medication; or fecal transplant

Specimens that test positive for antigen and negative for toxin on the initial assay will be assayed reflexively using a molecular assay (CPT 87493).

Reviewed by jcarr on December 07, 2021

Note: Reference ranges provided on this web site are for guidance only, and may not reflect the most recent changes. Refer to laboratory reports for current reference data.

UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514