Specimen Collection and Handling Guidelines

Accuracy of results is the primary focus of Arbor Diagnostics, Inc. and to ensure the integrity of the sample, we request strict handling and storage procedures of the specimens we receive.

All Specimens

  • Specimens must be labeled with patient’s full name and DOB
  • A requisition must accompany a specimen
  • For samples collected by traveling collectors, samples should be stored at room temperature (15°C-30°C) and never left in a vehicle overnight
  • Specimens should be either shipped to Arbor Diagnostics, Inc. the same day as provided, or stored at room temperature (15°C-30°C) overnight. Specimens should then be shipped the next day or driven to Arbor Diagnostics, Inc.

Urine Specimens:

  1.  The patient should not have urinated for at least 1 hour prior to specimen collection.
  2. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (approximately 20 to 30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives.
  3. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.
  4. Remove the cap and transfer 2 mL of urine into the urine specimen transport tube, within 24 hours of collection, using the disposable pipette provided.
  5. The correct volume of urine has been added when the fluid level is between the black fill lines on the urine specimen transport tube label.
  6. Urine samples that are still in the primary collection container, cups, must be transported to the lab within 24 hours of collection.
  7. Cups must be sealed properly to avoid contamination of other specimens and to verify sample was not tampered with after it was provided.

Endocervical swab specimens (Aptima Unisex Swab):

  1. The cleaning swab (white shaft swab) should be used to remove excess mucus from the cervical os and surrounding mucosa and discarded.
  2. The specimen collection swab is the blue shaft swab.
  3. Carefully break the blue swab shaft against the side of the tube at the score line and discard the top portion of the swab shaft before sealing tightly and transporting.
  4. This swab can also be used to swab the walls of the vagina or anal canal.

ThinPrep Pap Test:

  • Gynecological broom-type or endocervical brush/spatula collection devices should be used.
  • Specimen should not be collected within 1 week of menstruation.
  • Excessive lubricant may interfere with sample adequacy.  

Tissue Specimens

  • Use 10% Neutral Buffered formalin or Carson Millonig formalin, standard supplied is 20 ml size.
    • Including SoftBiopsy® or SoftECC® kit, require 40 ml vial size.

Causes for Rejection: Improperly labeled or expired vial, frozen specimen, Aptima Unisex tube containing anything other than the blue swab, Aptima Transport Urine Tube with insufficient volume, or specimen older than 21 days from collection.

Limitations, Causes for Unsatisfactory Results:  Sample collected near menstrual cycle, with excessive lubricant, or collection of larger volumes of urine may result in rRNA target dilution that may reduce test sensitivity.

Thank you for working with us to ensure we provide accurate and timely results.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding these policies, please do not hesitate to contact the lab at (469) 886-4700.

Specimen Reference Guide

Aptima Urine Specimen Transport Tube

Aptima Urine Specimen Transport Tube

Available Tests: Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Aptima Unisex Swab

Aptima Unisex Swab

Available Tests: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis

ThinPrep Pap Test

ThinPrep Pap Test

Available Tests: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis,
High-risk HPV, and HPV genotypes 16 18/45