cpt 81000, cpt code 81000, 81000 cpt code

CPT 81000 | Non-Automated Urinalysis With Dipsticks & Tablet Reagents

You can use CPT 81000 for a urinalysis procedure with a dipstick or tablet reagent if the lab analyst interprets the results manually (non-automated).

What Is CPT Code 81000?

CPT 81000 covers a urinalysis procedure with a tablet reagent or a dipstick. The lab analyst receives a freshly collected urine sample and, if they use the dipstick method, dips it into the specimen before shaking off the excess urine.

If they use the tablet reagent method, the lab analyst drops some of the urine on the reagent tablet and, after some time, reads the results manually for the urine analysis with a color chart located outside the container.

The (centrifuged) urine specimen is also analyzed with a microscope, views the sedimented specimen with high and low power, and writes the results down in a report.

CPT code 81000 is often ordered by clinicians to test for conditions such as kidney function testing, urinary tract infections, or numerous diseases and conditions with large numbers of chemical analytes.

TIP: You can find all the CPT codes for urinalysis here.


The CPT book defines CPT code 81000 as follows: “Urinalysis, by dip stick or tablet reagent for bilirubin, glucose, hemoglobin, ketones, leukocytes, nitrite, pH, protein, specific gravity, urobilinogen, any number of these constituents; non-automated, with microscopy.”


The 81000 CPT code procedure can be performed using the dipstick method or the tablet reagent.

The dipstick method: The lab analyst dips the stick into the urine specimen, removes it, and shakes off excess urine before performing the urinalysis.

Then, they wait for the required reaction time interval before reading the results (manually, non-automated) of every analyte on the colors chart on the dipstick container.

The lab analyst uses the plus system (1+, 2+, 3+, 4+, or by milligrams per deciliter) to read the semiquantitative analytes.

The tablet reagent method: The lab analysts place the tablet reagent on an absorbent pad before the required urine drops are dropped. Then, they wait for the prescribed time interval before reading the resultant color of the urinalysis.

Once the tablet reagent or dipstick method is complete, the lab analyst moves forward to perform a microscopic examination of the urine specimen.

Next, they place the urine sample in a conical-tipped centrifuge before removing or decanting the upper portion.

The sediment left after centrifuging is examined with a microscope under high and low power. They report on cellular elements, such as;

  • bacteria;
  • epithelial cells;
  • red cells;
  • white cells,
  • crystals;
  • casts; or
  • other urinary elements.

How To Use CPT 81000

CPT code 81000 can be used as a single unit for urinalysis of any number of constituents listed in the official description, namely;

  • urobilinogen;
  • specific gravity;
  • protein;
  • pH;
  • nitrite;
  • leukocytes;
  • ketones;
  • hemoglobin;
  • glucose; or
  • bilirubin.

CPT 81000 is the manual version of the automated procedure for urinalysis that can be used with CPT 81001.

The lab analyst needs to examine the urine specimen shortly after collection because the cellular elements of the specimen can change due to room temperature or other circumstances.


CPT Professional 2022



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