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Practo

Diagnostic Tests

Fungal Culture Synovial Fluid

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Fungal Culture Synovial Fluid

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What is this test?

Fungal culture synovial fluid is performed on a sample of synovial fluid to check for the fungal growth in the synovial fluid (a fluid in the spaces between the joints). This test helps to know whether you have a fungal infection in the joints or not, especially fungal arthritis.

What are the joint fungal infections?

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. Cryptococcus species are another form of yeasts which can cause infections especially in individuals with poor immunity. Aspergillus genus members are a form of molds which can cause 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.

Synovial fluid is a thick liquid made in the space between the joints. This fluid is produced by synovial membranes which line the inner surface of joints. It is necessary to reduce the friction of the joint movement in the shoulder, knees, hips, hands, and feet. Variety of diseases or conditions affecting joint structure and function can cause synovial fluid changes. Infections are one of the major cause for this condition. Joint infections can be due to bacterial or fungal infection. This test helps to determine whether the infection is due to fungus or not.

Fungal arthritis is a swelling of a joint caused by fungal organisms. They are less common and mainly affects the individuals with poor immunity. Signs and symptoms of fungal arthritis are fever, pain, heat, warmth, redness, swelling of the joint, limited range of motion, etc.

Why this test is performed?

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

Also known as Fungal Culture and Sensitivity Synovial Fluid.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Fungal Culture Synovial Fluid. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Fungal Culture Synovial 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 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, Aspergillus species, dimorphic fungi or any other fungal organisms in the synovial fluid. It may indicate the presence of fungal joint infections. 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 synovial 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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