Lab Test

Eosinophils in Nasal, Sputum, or Conjunctival Smears

Eosinophils and PMNs Smear

Test Codes

Antrim #27071, EPIC: LAB5145

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: Culturette swab or smear applied on a glass slide taken from the nasal or eye area, or sputum.

  • Using a sterile cotton tipped applicator stick, swab the affected area. 
  • Roll the applicator stick across a one-inch diameter area of a microscopic glass slide. Allow to air dry. 
  • Label slide with two patient identifiers. 

Also acceptable: Expectorated or induced sputum in a sterile collection container.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Do not refrigerate the specimen. Maintain at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Swab, glass slide, or sputum in a sterile collection cup, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Rejection Criteria

Dry culturettes and dry swabs.

In-Lab Processing

Swab and sputum specimens should be transported promptly to the Hematology Laboratory to prevent leukocyte lysis.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Culturette Swabs and Sputum
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Indefinitely
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable 

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Culturette Swabs and Sputum: Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Smears: Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 30 days 


Dearborn Hematology Laboratory
Farmington Hills Hematology Laboratory
Grosse Pointe Hematology Laboratory
Royal Oak Hematology Laboratory
Taylor Hematology Laboratory
Trenton Hematology Laboratory
Troy Hematology Laboratory
Wayne Blood Bank


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.
Results available within 8 hours.

Reference Range

None seen.

Test Methodology

Wright-Giemsa Stain, Manual Microscopy.


Increased numbers of eosinophils may be found in sputum from patients with bronchial asthma, but is not pathognomonic of asthma. Decreasing numbers of eosinophils in sputum may indicate a good response to corticosteroid therapy. Eosinophils are also found in nasal and conjunctival discharges in seasonal rhinitis (hay fever).

Clinical Utility

This test can assist in the detection and therapeutic monitoring of asthma patients and for the diagnosis of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

CPT Codes



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