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Sputum test

Also known as Fluid Analysis Microscopy Sputum
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What is this test?

Fluid Analysis Microscopy Sputum is used to analyze the sputum to diagnose the diseases or conditions affecting the respiratory system.

What is Sputum Analysis?

Sputum is the thick mucus that you cough up from your lungs. It occurs when the passages between the mouth and lungs get irritated due to any disease conditions or infections. Sputum analysis is performed to examine the sputum to look for the presence of any abnormal or cancerous cells. Variety of diseases or conditions can affect the lungs and its function.

Common conditions that affect the lungs are pneumonia, tuberculosis, asthma, and certain types of lung cancers. Pneumonia is a type of infection that causes swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs. It can be a bacterial (more serious) or viral infection. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia are shortness of breath, severe cough, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc.

Tuberculosis is a serious infection that affects the lungs It is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Signs and symptoms of this infection are fatigue, fever, night sweats, weight loss, loss of appetite etc.

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways of the lungs. Signs and symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, coughing, wheezing, etc. This test helps to diagnose a variety of diseases or conditions affecting the lungs.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed to diagnose the conditions or diseases affecting the respiratory system. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of pneumonia such as shortness of breath, severe cough, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor may also ask to perform this test if he suspects tuberculosis or if you experience any signs and symptoms of such as fatigue, fever, night sweats, weight loss, loss of appetite etc. This test is recommended in some individuals with symptoms of lung cancer. This test is not an effective screening test for lung cancer. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Sputum test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Sputum test.

No specific preparation is necessary for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test results show the presence of white blood cells and off-white, yellow or green sputum it may indicate pneumonia or bronchitis (an infection that causes swelling of the lining of the lungs). Increased neutrophils levels may indicate bacterial pneumonia or tuberculosis. High levels of eosinophils may indicate asthma. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results to diagnose the exact condition.

The presence of cancerous or tumor cells in the sputum may indicate certain types of lung cancers. However, your doctor may ask to perform a few more additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. Individuals who smoke may get a gray or black sputum.

If you get abnormal test results, consult with your doctor immediately. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsAFB is present in case of an infection
UNISEXAll age groupsMalignant cells are reported in case of a Malignancy
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