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Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Empyema Fluid

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Fungal Culture Empyema Fluid

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What is this test?

Fungal culture empyema fluid is performed on a sample of empyema fluid to check for the fungal growth in the pleural fluid (a fluid with pus found in the pleural space). This test helps to know whether you have a fungal empyema infection or not.

What is the fungal empyema infection?

Fungal organisms are found anywhere in the environment. They exist as two forms yeasts and molds. The fungal organisms that exhibit a temperature-dependent switch between these two forms are known as dimorphic. These organisms can cause infections in individuals with poor immunity.

Candida species are the most common form of yeasts that cause fungal infections. These fungal organisms cause bloodstream infection with involvement of other organs but rarely affect the lungs. Cryptococcus species are another form of yeasts which can cause lung infections especially in individuals with poor immunity. Aspergillus genus members are a form of molds which can cause lung diseases and can trigger the allergic reactions in many individuals. Rhizopus, Mucor, Rhizomucor etc are other forms of molds that rarely cause infection.

Histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, sporotrichosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, and chromoblastomycosis are fungi that are dimorphic in nature. These fungal organisms exist as yeast form in infected individuals (host) and as a mold form in the environment.

Empyema is an infection where the pus gathers in the pleural space (the area between the lungs and the inner surface of the chest wall). This condition usually follows after pneumonia. The signs and symptoms of empyema are fever, chills, dry cough, shortness of breath, illness, chest pain, weight loss, etc. The empyema caused by the fungal organisms is known as fungal empyema. They are less common and mainly affects the individuals with poor immunity. Candida, Cryptococcus, Sporothrix schenckii, and Aspergillus species are the common fungal organisms that cause fungal empyema.

Why this test is performed?

This test is performed as part of routine health screening or to determine the presence of fungal empyema. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of fungal empyema such as fever, chills, dry cough, shortness of breath, illness, chest pain, weight loss, etc. This test is also performed to monitor and evaluate the treatment effectiveness in individuals receiving treatment for fungal empyema. However, your doctor may ask to perform a susceptibility testing on the fungi isolated from this culture test to determine the antifungal treatment.

Test Preparation

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

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

Understanding your test results

The test results may be vary depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors.

If the culture test is positive it may indicate the growth of fungal organisms such as isolates of Candida, Cryptococcus, Sporothrix schenckii, Aspergillus species or any other fungal organisms in the empyema fluid. It may indicate the presence of fungal empyema. However, a few more additional tests may also be performed depending on the suspected cause and typical results, along with the physical symptoms to diagnose the exact infection.

If the culture test is negative it means no growth of fungal organisms is detected from the empyema fluid.

Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe growth observed depends on the type of the fungal organism that grows
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