Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:


Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:



Ova and Parasite Exam for Pinworm; Enterobius vermicularis Preparation

CPT Codes:

87172 – Pinworm exam

Test Includes:

Microscopic examination of pinworm paddle or Scotch® tape slide preparation for Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm).


Lab Testing Sections:


Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-5866

STP Lab: 651-220-6555

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

1 day

Special Instructions:

Caution: Pinworms are very infectious. Wash hands after collection.

Specimen site and date/time of collection are required for processing.


Specimen Type:

Perianal region


Swube pinworm paddle (available in Microbiology)


1. Specimens are best obtained at 10 to 11 p.m. or upon waking and before a bowel movement or bath.
Gently press the paddle’s sticky side against several areas of the perianal region while spreading open the perianal folds.
Place the paddle into the transport container and tighten the cap.
Daily consecutive specimens (≥6) should be obtained before the patient is considered infection-free.


Transport to the Microbiology Laboratory within 24 hours at room temperature.

Sample Rejection:

Specimen with a transit time exceeding 24 hours after collection; use of nontransparent Scotch® Tape; specimen not submitted in appropriate transport container; improperly labeled specimen; external contamination. Specimens that are not properly contained pose excessive risk to laboratory personnel. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the physician or nursing station will be notified and another specimen will be requested before the specimen is discarded.


Reference Range:

No pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis) eggs identified.


Direct microscopic examination of Swube paddle

Additional Information:

Adult Enterobius vermicularis worms inhabit the large intestine and rectum. The eggs are not normally recovered in the stool. Only 5-10% of infected persons has demonstrable eggs in their stool. The adult female migrates out the anal opening and deposits the eggs on the perianal skin, usually during the night. When the specimen is collected, the eggs, and occasionally the adult female worms, stick to the sticky surface of the paddle. Enterobiasis tends to be a family infection. Therefore, it is recommended that all family members be tested.


Cook, JH, and M Pezzlo (1992). Specimen receipt and accessioning. Section 1. Aerobic bacteriology, 1.2.1-4. In HD Isenberg (ed) Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. American Society for Microbiology, Washington DC

Miller, J Michael (1999) A Guide To Specimen Management in Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, Washington DC

Miller, J Michael, and HT Holmes (1999) Specimen Collection, Transport, and Storage In PR Murray et al, (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 7th edition, American Society for Microbiology, Washington DC, pp 33-104

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