Diagnostic Tests

Tuberculosis Culture CSF


Tuberculosis Culture CSF

Also known as Tb Culture Csf
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What is this test?

This test is used to find out whether the individual is infected with tuberculosis TB or not by analyzing a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from an individual. It is a clear colorless fluid circulating between the brain and spinal cord. The test is useful in identifying whether the tubercular infection has reached other parts/internal organs of the body apart from the lungs.

What is a bacterial culture?

In laboratories, the bacteria are often grown with the help of growth media (nutrient preparation which acts as a source of food for the bacteria). The grown bacteria is observed under a microscope to identify the type of bacteria. The process is called as bacterial culturing. The bacterial culturing is often used in the field of medicine to identify the species of bacteria causing the infection and to know what kind of medicines are effective in killing the bacteria and planning the treatment accordingly.

What is Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)?

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a clear colorless fluid produced in the ventricles of the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain and spinal cord and plays role in providing nutrients, mechanical support to the brain by acting as a cushion to prevent trauma or injury and removes waste products from brain metabolism.

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis TB is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis MTB. Generally, TB affects the lungs and sometimes it can also affect other organs and parts of the body. MTB is airborne and can spread through the air from one person to another. Individuals who are suffering from TB may experience symptoms such as cough which lasts more than 2-3 weeks, cough with blood, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, weight loss, fever, night sweats, etc.

Why is this test recommended?

This test is performed to check the presence of tuberculosis bacteria in body fluids of an individual. The doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you are suffering from symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, joint pains, long-lasting cough, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, weight loss, fever, abdominal distension, etc.

If you are on treatment for tuberculosis, then the doctor may ask you to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and to check whether the bacterium has infected other internal organs or has developed resistance to TB drugs such as rifampicin. Mostly, this test is done along with other tests to confirm the diagnosis and to modify the treatments if necessary.


Some medications may change the test results and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test.

Test Preparation

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

Understanding your test results

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

If the test results are negative it may indicate that there is no Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterial infection and not suffering from tuberculosis.

In case the test results are positive it may indicate that there is Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and an individual is suffering from tuberculosis. Presence of tubercular bacteria apart from lung tissue confirms that the bacteria has infected other tissues as well and the individual requires necessary treatments.

GenderAge groupsValue
MALEAll age groupsA positive culture indicates active infection
FEMALEAll age groupsA positive culture indicates active infection
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