What Is Sputum Culture

Contents

Sputum Culture: MedlinePlus Medical Test

It is possible that bacteria or another sort of organism is causing an infection in your lungs or the airways leading to your lungs, and a sputum culture will be performed to determine this. sputum, often known as phlegm, is a thick form of mucus produced in the lungs that can be inhaled. Infections or chronic illnesses that damage the lungs or airways might cause you to cough up mucus, which you can then swallow. Sputum is not the same as spit or saliva in terms of consistency. Sputum includes immune system cells that aid in the battle against bacteria, fungus, and other foreign items that may be present in your lungs or airways.

This permits the cilia (tiny hairs) in the airways to push the substance into the mouth and out through the coughing reflex.

The colors can assist you in determining what sort of infection you may be suffering from or whether a chronic sickness has gotten worse:

  • Clear. This normally indicates that there is no disease present
  • Nevertheless, huge volumes of clear sputum may be a symptom of lung disease
  • White or gray. A small quantity of this may be normal, but excessive quantities may indicate lung illness
  • Dark yellow or green. This is frequently indicative of an abacterial illness, such as pneumonia. Sputum that is yellowish-green in color is also frequent in patients who have cystic fibrosis. Mucus buildup in the lungs and other organs is caused by cystic fibrosis, which is a hereditary condition, according to Brown. People who smoke are more prone to developing this condition. In addition, it is a common symptom of black lung disease. Coal dust exposure can result in the development of black lung disease, which is a dangerous illness that can be fatal
  • Pink. This might be a symptom of pulmonary edema, which is a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the lungs and causes difficulty breathing. Those suffering from congestive heart failure are more likely to develop pulmonary edema
  • Red. This might be an indication of lung cancer in its early stages. It might also be an indication of a pulmonary embolism, which is a potentially life-threatening illness in which a blood clot from the leg or another region of the body becomes dislodged and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. If you are coughing up red or bloody sputum, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away for medical assistance.

A variety of other names are given to this procedure, including respiratory culture, bacterial sputum culture, and standard sputum culture.

What is it used for?

A sputum culture is most commonly used for the following purposes:

  • In order to determine and diagnose bacteria or fungi that may be causing an infection in the lungs or airways, Check to see whether a chronic lung ailment has gotten any worse
  • Check to see if the infection therapy is effective

A Gram stain is another test that is frequently used in conjunction with a sputum culture. It is possible to screen for bacteria at the location of a suspected infection as well as in bodily fluids such as blood or urine using a Gram stain test. It can aid in the identification of the precise sort of illness you may be suffering from.

Why do I need a sputum culture?

If you have signs of pneumonia or any serious infection of the lungs or airways, you may need to have this test performed. These are some examples:

  • Coughing that generates a large amount of sputum
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • A feeling of being out of breath When you take heavy breaths or cough, your chest painthat becomes worse. Fatigue
  • Confusion, especially in the elderly
  • And

What happens during a sputum culture?

Your health-care practitioner will need to obtain a sample of your sputum in order to diagnose you. During the examination:

  • To begin, a health care practitioner will urge you to take several deep breaths before coughing into a specific cup. Your healthcare professional may tap you on the chest to aid in the removal of sputum from your lungs. If you are having difficulty coughing out enough phlegm, your healthcare practitioner may instruct you to inhale a salty mist that will encourage you to cough more thoroughly. If you are still unable to cough up enough sputum, your healthcare practitioner may recommend that you undergo a procedure known as bronchoscopy. During this process, you will first be given a medication to help you relax, followed by a numbing medication to ensure that you will not feel any discomfort. Afterwards, a small, illuminated tube will be inserted via your mouth or nose and into your airways. Your healthcare professional will obtain a sample from your airway using a little brush or suction to determine the quality of the sample.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

It is possible that you will be required to rinse your mouth out with water before the sample is obtained. If you are scheduled for a bronchoscopy, you may be requested to fast (i.e., refrain from eating or drinking) for one to two hours before to the procedure.

Are there any risks to the test?

Giving a sputum sample into an enclosed container poses no danger to the patient. If you have a bronchoscopy, you may experience soreness in your throat following the surgery.

What do the results mean?

A sputum sample placed in an appropriate container carries no danger. Your throat may be painful after having a bronchoscopy if you have one performed. It is possible that an abnormal sputum culture result indicates a flare-up of a chronic disorder, such as cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD). COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung illness that makes breathing difficult. If you have any questions about your results, you should speak with your health-care provider about them.

Is there anything else I need to know about a sputum culture?

Sputum is also referred to as phlegm or mucus in some circles. All of the phrases are valid, although sputum and phlegm are exclusively used to refer to mucus produced by the respiratory tract (lungs and airways).

Sputum (sometimes known as phlegm) is a form of mucus. It is also possible to produce mucus in other parts of the body, such as the urinary tract or the vaginal tract.

References

  1. Sputum is sometimes referred to as phlegm or mucus in some circles. However, sputum and phlegm are solely used to refer to mucus produced by the respiratory system, and they are not interchangeable (lungs and airways). A form of mucus known as sputum (phlegm). It is also possible for mucus to form in other parts of the body, such as the urinary tract or the vaginal tract.

What Is a Sputum Culture?

When you have an infection in your lungs or airways, you may be asked to provide a sample of the sticky stuff that comes up from your chest when you cough. It is mostly composed of white blood cells, which fight illness when they come into contact with microorganisms. Your doctor will utilize this test in order to determine whether bacteria, a virus, or something else is the source of your disease.

Why Your Body Makes Sputum

In order for your lungs to communicate with your mouth, you must first travel via a passage known as thetrachea, or windpipe, which begins at the back of your throat. A few inches below the surface, it divides into distinct tubes known as bronchi, which are responsible for funneling air from the trachea into your lungs. Sputum is produced by the body when you are unwell or when the airways between your mouth and lungs are inflamed by anything such as smoking or pollution in the air. It is also referred to as phlegm.

When you cough, your body is attempting to expel the phlegm that has accumulated.

When Do I Need a Sputum Culture?

Your doctor will most likely ask you a series of questions concerning your coughing spells and symptoms. Some of them may be as follows:

  • Do you know how long it’s been going on
  • How long do your coughing fits last
  • Does anything come up when you cough
  • Is it worse at various times of the day
  • Do you have a cigarette? Have you lost weight
  • Do you have night sweats
  • Do you have a headache?

Your responses to these and other questions will provide your doctor with some insight into the nature of the problem. However, you may be required to do a sputum culture if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Your cough indicates that you have a bacterial illness such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or TB (a potentially deadly infection that mainly affects your lungs and can cause you to cough up blood)
  • A fungus or a virus might be to blame for your cough, or it could be caused by something else else.

How Does the Test Work?

In most cases, you will be asked to cough up some sputum and spit it into a clean cup in order to do the tests. The doctor may instruct you to rinse your mouth with water first, and you may be asked to forgo a meal or cease taking any bacteria-killing medications that you have been prescribed prior to doing the testing procedure. Your doctor will most likely want around 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of sputum to complete the test. Make an effort to spit out as much sputum and as little saliva as you possibly can while doing so.

What If I Can’t Cough Up Enough?

It’s possible that a technician will be able to induce sputum if you are unable to do it on your own. As a last resort, your doctor may have you breathe in a mist of hypertonic (salty) water, which can cause a deeper cough and help you cough up more mucus, allowing your doctor to rule out tuberculosis. It is possible that they will have to use an equipment called a “bronchoscope” to take a sample in a more intrusive process. The gadget is equipped with a light and a small camera. Your doctor gently puts the device down your windpipe in order to obtain a sample of mucus.

You will be given medicines to calm you while this is taking place, but you may end up with a raspy voice and painful throat as a result of it. While undergoing this procedure, there is a minor risk of bleeding, having a fever or contracting pneumonia, or developing a collapsed lung.

Testing the Sample

The hue of what you’ve spat out will most likely be scrutinized by your doctor. It can provide important indications as to what is going on:

  • If your sputum appears off-white, yellow, or green, it is likely that it contains a big number of infection-causing bacteria. A indication of a respiratory infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis is the presence of white blood cells that are engaged in combat. In the case of bleeding, there may be streaks or patches of crimson in the sputum if you have a medical condition that causes bleeding. If your sputum is bloody or rust-colored, it might indicate a more serious problem. A gray or black hue to your sputum may be present if you smoke or have worked in a sooty environment, such as an underground coal mine.
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Following your doctor’s examination of the sample, a lab technician can conduct tests to determine what type of bacteria or cells are included inside it. Those tests will assist in distinguishing between the normal bacteria that are present in your body and the disease-causing germs that may be causing you to get ill. If an infection is discovered, more tests can be performed to determine which antibiotic should be prescribed. It may take several days to perform a comprehensive battery of tests in this case.

Other Tests

Depending on the findings of your tests, your doctor may recommend that you undergo further testing.

  • It is possible that you will be requested to have an X-ray or CT scan to check for evidence of a continuing lung problem. For example, you could be given something called a “pulmonary function test” to see how well your lungs are functioning.

Sputum Culture

Sputum is a viscous fluid produced in the lungs and the airways leading to the lungs. It is produced by the body’s immune system. A sputum culture is a test that is used to identify germs (such as bacteria or fungus) that may be responsible for an illness. Sputum samples are mixed with a chemical that encourages the development of germs in order to determine their viability. If no germs appear to be growing, the culture is considered negative. If bacteria that can cause illness thrive in the culture, the culture is considered positive.

Other tests may be performed in order to determine the most effective antibiotic to use in treating the illness.

It is possible that you will be requested to cough in order to submit a sputum sample.

They can take a deep breath and inhale a specific mist that will assist them cough.

Why It Is Done

Sputum is a viscous fluid produced in the lungs and the airways leading to the lungs. It is produced by the body’s defense mechanisms. Infection-causing organisms (such as bacteria or fungi) can be detected in sputum cultures, which are used to diagnose the condition. Sputum samples are mixed with a chemical that encourages the development of germs in order to determine their viability for research. Positive cultures are those in which no bacteria grow. Positive cultures are those that develop bacteria that can cause illness.

When it comes to finding the best drug for treating an illness, further tests are sometimes required.

In order to get a sputum sample, you may be requested to cough.

In order to alleviate their coughing, they might inhale a particular mist.

  • Find the bacteria or fungi that are causing an infection of the lungs or the airways that lead to the lungs and eliminate them from the body. Pneumonia and TB are two such diseases. Coughing up red or greenish brown sputum is a symptom of a lung infection, as is experiencing difficulty breathing, breathing discomfort, or having a hard time breathing. Find the most effective antibiotic to use in treating the illness. (This procedure is referred to as sensitivity testing.) Check to see if the treatment is effective

How To Prepare

Find the bacteria or fungi that are causing an infection of the lungs or the airways that lead to the lungs and eliminate them from the environment. Pneumonia and TB are only a few examples. Coughing up crimson or greenish brown sputum is a symptom of a lung infection, as is having difficulty breathing, breathing discomfort, or having difficulty swallowing. To treat an illness, find the finest antibiotic available. It is referred to as sensitivity testing. In order to determine whether or not therapy is effective,

How It Is Done

Sputum samples are often obtained first thing in the morning, before you have anything to eat or drink. It may be necessary to collect three or more morning samples in some circumstances. (This is frequently done if you are suspected of having TB.) When collecting your sputum sample, you will need to remove any dentures you may have in order to avoid contamination. After that, swish around with some water to clean your mouth. Next, take a deep breath and cough vigorously to obtain a sample of sputum from the patient.

This tapping helps to release the mucus that has built up in your lungs prior to coughing.

Bronchoscopy

Some individuals may require bronchoscopy in order to get a sputum sample. A bronchoscope is a narrow, lighted tube that is inserted via your mouth or nose into the airways leading to your lungs to do an examination. You will be given drugs to numb your throat and nose so that you do not experience any discomfort as a result of the bronchoscope. Additionally, you may be given a sedative to make you asleep throughout the examination. It is possible to collect the sample by washing a salt solution into the airway and then sucking the solution into a container.

Suction

Depending on the situation, bronchoscopy may be required to obtain a sputum sample. A bronchoscope is a narrow, lighted tube that is inserted via your mouth or nose into the airways leading to your lungs to perform an examination of them. It is possible that you may be given drugs to numb your throat and nose so that you will not experience pain from the bronchoscope throughout the procedure. A sedative may also be administered to you during the examination to make you asleep. It is possible to collect the sample by washing a salt solution into the airway and then sucking the fluid into a container (see Figure 1).

How long the test takes

If you experience discomfort when taking a deep breath or coughing, donating a sputum sample may be an unpleasant experience for you. If you are required to inhale the aerosol mist in order to obtain a sample, you will almost certainly experience a strong need to cough. You may have a strong urge to cough while having a bronchoscopy or collecting a sputum sample with a catheter inserted. When the bronchoscope or catheter is passed into the back of your throat, this can happen as well. You may also get the sensation that you are struggling to take a breath.

Take deep breaths.

It’s possible that you’ll find it difficult to swallow.

Risks

There is extremely minimal possibility that you will have an issue as a result of this test.

Results

In a culture, certain species of bacteria or fungus grow very fast. Others progress more slowly. It might take anything from one day to many weeks to receive test results. The length of time it takes for your results to come back depends on the sort of illness your doctor believes you may have. There are some organisms that will not develop in a regular culture and will require an unique growing media, which may be found in sputum cultures. The bacteria Chlamydophila pneumoniae and mycoplasma are two examples.

Sputum culture

Normal: Sputum that has passed through the mouth normally contains several types of harmless bacteria. These include some types of strep (Streptococcus) and staph (Staphylococcus). The culture should not show any harmful bacteria or fungi. Normal culture results are negative.
Abnormal: Harmful bacteria or fungi are found. The most common harmful bacteria in a sputum culture are those that can causebronchitis,pneumonia, ortuberculosis. If harmful bacteria or fungi grow, the culture is positive.

If the results of the tests indicate that an infection has occurred, sensitivity testing may be performed. This testing aids in the discovery of the most effective antibiotic for killing bacteria or fungi. If your culture does not produce any bacteria or fungus, you may still be infected with a virus or bacterium.

Credits

As of September 23, 2020, the information is current. Healthwise Staff is the author of this article. Adam Husney, MD, is a Family Medicine specialist who has been reviewed. Dr. E. Gregory Thompson is an Internal Medicine specialist. Doctor Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM, is a pulmonologist who practices in the United Kingdom. Dr. W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC, is an infectious disease specialist. As of September 23, 2020, the information is current. The author is a member of the Healthwise staff.

  1. Dr.
  2. Gregory Thompson is an Internal Medicine specialist.
  3. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM, is a pulmonologist who practices in the United Kingdom.
  4. W.

Routine Sputum Culture: Purpose, Procedure, and Side Effects

What is a regular sputum culture, and how does it work? In the event of an upper respiratory tract infection or a lung-related illness, your lungs will generate a thick material known as sputum that will be expelled. This material can make it difficult to breathe, induce coughing, and serve as a breeding ground for germs. If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor may advise you to have a sputum culture performed. As a result of this quick and generally painless examination, laboratory staff can better understand the bacteria or fungus that may be developing in your airways and producing the formation of sputum.

In many cases, the most challenging element of a sputum culture is obtaining enough material in the sample to do the tests.

Sputum is a kind of mucus.

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Afeverorchills
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscular pains
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest discomfort
  • And disorientation

When the test is performed, it might identify what is causing the cough and other symptoms. These are some examples:

  • Bronchitis, a lung abscess, pneumonia, TB, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis are among conditions that might occur.

Respiratory disorders can be caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or fungus that enter the body. Your doctor can determine the most effective treatment to cure the infection by evaluating what may be causing the symptoms you are experiencing. In rare cases, your doctor may request a complete blood count in order to assess whether or not your white blood cells are abnormally high. It is possible that an infection is causing this rise in white blood cells. Sputum cultivation demands the least amount of your time and work on your side.

  1. You will be instructed to cough vigorously in order to expel the mucus from your lungs.
  2. In order to obtain an adequate sputum sample, you might experiment with several procedures.
  3. Your doctor may instruct you to rinse out your mouth with clear water to aid in the removal of any remaining bacteria and excess saliva from your mouth.
  4. For testing purposes, the laboratory requires at least 2 milliliters of sputum.
  5. It’s possible that your doctor will tap on your chest to release the sputum if you’re having problems coughing up enough to be taken care of.
  6. A sputum sample for analysis should be taken to the laboratory within one to two hours of coughing it up, depending on how much you coughed up.
  7. A variety of tests may be performed in the laboratory to establish whether the growth is caused by a bacteria, a virus, or a fungus.
  8. The laboratory will discover which bacteria causes you to become ill and which bacteria keeps you healthy.
  9. When you aren’t feeling well, the heavy coughing that is accompanied with a sputum culture can be very difficult to experience.

To the contrary, there are no hazards associated with doing a sputum culture. Following abdominal surgery, your doctor may advise you to cough while holding a pillow over your stomach in order to lessen abdominal discomfort. Splinting is the term used to describe this process.

Sputum Test

In the case of a respiratory tract infection or other lung-related condition, your doctor may prescribe a sputum test to detect what is growing in your lungs. A sputum test, also known as a sputum culture, helps to determine what is developing in your lungs. Sputum is a thick material that builds up in the lungs or bronchi when bacteria or fungus multiply and proliferate in the lungs or bronchi. It is possible that the chemical may become more difficult to breathe as it builds and will induce coughing.

  • Tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and pneumonia are all conditions that can affect the lungs.

Who needs a sputum test?

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are all capable of causing respiratory problems. Your doctor will be able to treat your problem more successfully if he or she knows what is causing your symptoms. It’s possible that you’ll require a sputum test if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are all capable of causing respiratory problems in susceptible individuals. Your doctor will be able to treat your disease more successfully if he or she understands the reason of your symptoms. It’s possible that you’ll require a sputum test if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

What are the side effects associated with a sputum test?

The presence of a sputum culture is not connected with any significant negative effects; nevertheless, deep coughing may produce some slight pain. Following the collection of the sample, you may have some chest discomfort. Patients who have previously undergone abdominal surgery may find it necessary to place a cushion over their stomach in order to reduce discomfort.

What to expect during a sputum test?

During a sputum test, you will be instructed to cough vigorously enough to produce a considerable amount of sputum, which will then be evaluated by your doctor. The most difficult aspect of the test is generating a sample size large enough to allow it to be tested properly. Saliva from the upper airways is not relevant for this test because it contains bacteria that resides there. You will be evaluated by your doctor for the color of your sample in order to determine what is wrong with you.

  • Off-white, yellow, or green sputum can suggest pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Off-white, yellow, or green sputum can indicate influenza. The color red or rusty might signal a more serious issue that requires more testing. Smokers or those who work in smoky environments (such as coal mines) may be identified by the color grey or the color back.
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Results from a sputum test

Your sputum sample will be forwarded to a laboratory within one to two hours of it being collected by the manufacturer. A pathologist will conduct tests to establish whether the growth is caused by a bacteria, a virus, or a fungal infection. There are certain bacteria in the lungs that grow naturally, therefore it is crucial to distinguish between the bacteria that are causing you illness and the bacteria that are beneficial to your health. Your doctor will receive a copy of the pathologist’s report as soon as it is available.

Rapid tuberculosis tests may be completed in as little as 24 hours, but findings for other lung disorders might take up to eight weeks to arrive.

Find a lung cancer specialist nearby

Sputum culture is a method of determining the presence of bacteria in a sputum sample. Infection-causing microorganisms are detected in routine sputum cultures, which are performed in a laboratory. When you cough profoundly, sputum is the stuff that comes up from the air passageways of your lungs. An accurate sputum sample can be acquired by coughing deeply and exhaling the material that comes out of the lungs into an uncontaminated sterile cup.

Upon arrival at the laboratory, the sample is put in a medium that contains growth-promoting bacteria and allows them to flourish. In some cases, a positive culture can detect disease-producing organisms that can aid in the diagnosis of bronchitis, TB, a lung abscess, or pneumonia.

How the Test is Performed

It is necessary to get a sputum sample. You will be instructed to cough vigorously and spit any phlegm that rises to the surface of your lungs into a specially designed container during the examination. The sample is delivered to a laboratory for analysis. It is then put in a separate dish at the location (culture). Bacteria and other disease-causing germs are then observed for two to three days, if not longer, to see if they have grown.

How to Prepare for the Test

The night before the test, drink plenty of water and other fluids to help make it easier to cough up the sputum.

How the Test will Feel

You will have to cough a lot. Occasionally, the health care practitioner will tap on your chest to dislodge deep sputum that has built up over time. Alternatively, you may be instructed to breath a steam-like mist in order to assist you in coughing up the phlegm. It is possible that you will experience discomfort as a result of needing to cough deeply.

Why the Test is Performed

The test aids in the identification of the bacteria or other types of germs that are causing an infection in the lungs or airways by identifying the source of the illness (bronchi).

Normal Results

The presence of disease-causing microorganisms in a normal sputum sample will be non-existent. Sputum cultures can sometimes produce germs because the sample was contaminated by bacteria from the mouth when it was taken.

What Abnormal Results Mean

If the sputum sample contains abnormalities, the results are referred to as “positive results.” Identifying the bacterium, fungus, or virus that is causing the problem may assist in diagnosing the problem.

  • Chronic bronchitis (inflammation and swelling of the air passageways carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide to the lungs)
  • Pneumonia (collection of pus in the lung)
  • Lung abscess Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis flare-up
  • Sarcoidosis

Risks

There are no dangers associated with this test.

References

J. Brainard’s Respiratory Cytology (Respiratory Cytology). The following is an excerpt from Zander DS and Farver CF’s edited volume: The Elsevier textbook of pulmonary pathology (2nd ed., Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2018), chapter 36 Daly, J.S., and Ellison, R.T. Acute pneumonia is a kind of pneumonia that occurs suddenly. Bennett, J.E., Dolin, R., and Blaser, M.J., eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, edited by Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett, is a classic text in the field. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2020:chap 67.

Version Info

The most recent review was performed on 9/29/2019. David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine of the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, provided an expert review. In addition, David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial staff examined the manuscript for accuracy.

Routine Sputum Culture

Infection-causing microorganisms are detected in routine sputum cultures, which are performed in a laboratory. When you cough profoundly, sputum is the stuff that comes up from the air passageways of your lungs.

Alternative Names

Sputum culture is a method of determining the presence of bacteria in a sputum sample.

How the Test is Performed

It is necessary to get a sputum sample. You will be instructed to cough vigorously and spit any phlegm that rises to the surface of your lungs into a specially designed container during the examination.

The sample is delivered to a laboratory for analysis. It is then put in a separate dish at the location (culture). Bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are then observed to see if they have multiplied.

How to Prepare for the Test

The night before the test, drink plenty of water and other fluids to help make it easier to cough up the sputum.

How the Test will Feel

You will have to cough a lot. Occasionally, the health care practitioner will tap on your chest to dislodge deep sputum that has built up over time. Alternatively, you may be instructed to breath a steam-like mist in order to assist you in coughing up the phlegm. It is possible that you will experience discomfort as a result of needing to cough deeply.

Why the Test is Performed

The test aids in the identification of the bacteria or other types of germs that are causing an infection in the lungs or airways, as well as their location (bronchi).

Normal Results

The presence of disease-causing microorganisms in a normal sputum sample will be non-existent.

What Abnormal Results Mean

If the sputum sample contains abnormalities, the results are referred to as “positive results.” Identifying the bacterium, fungus, or virus that is causing the problem may assist in diagnosing the problem.

  • Bronchitis (inflammation and swelling of the major air tubes that deliver air to the lungs) is a respiratory condition. Pneumonia (collection of pus in the lung)
  • Lung abscess Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • A flare-up of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • And other diseases

Risks

There are no dangers associated with this test.

References

It is not necessary to be concerned about the hazards associated with this examination.

Sputum Culture: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection and Panels

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Reference Range

A sputum culture is most commonly used to identify bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella species, which are the most common pathogens identified. Molds and yeasts are two types of fungi that are slow-growing eukaryotic creatures that may grow on either living or nonliving species. Molds and yeasts are classified into two categories: molds and yeasts. A few number of them may develop in people, and when they infect the respiratory system, they can result in life-threatening illnesses.

In sputum culture, it is reasonable to expect the presence of normal upper respiratory tract bacteria to be present.

Interpretation

A typical Gram stain of sputum comprises polymorphonuclear leukocytes, alveolar macrophages, and a few squamous epithelial cells, all of which are considered normal. The existence of normal flora does not eliminate the possibility of infection. Examination of a Gram-stained smear of the material typically provides information about the quality of the specimen. The minimal number of squamous epithelial cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes per low power field is used to measure the quality of sputum samples.

A sample that is deemed unsatisfactory by the laboratory may be deceptive and should be disregarded.

Mycoplasmacultures are performed seldom, and the diagnosis is generally confirmed by an increase in antibody titer.

This medium includes high amounts of iron and sulfur, which are essential for growth.

If TB is suspected, an acid-fast stain should be conducted as soon as possible, and the sputum should be cultured on specific media that must be incubated for a minimum of six weeks. Anaerobic cultures are critical in the diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and lung abscesses.

Collection and Panels

Disposable container that is sterile and leak-proof

  • Disposable container that is both sterile and leak-proof

Background

Pneumonia, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, and lung abscess are all diagnosed with the use of sputum culture. It aids in the diagnosis of respiratory infections, which are indicated by the presence or absence of organisms in the cultured specimens. When a patient is hospitalized with signs and symptoms of pneumonia as well as any of the following conditions, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society (IDSA/ATS) consensus recommendations from 2007 require expectorated sputum specimens.

  • An admission to an intensive care unit
  • Failure of outpatient antibiotic treatment
  • Cavitary lesions
  • Active alcohol consumption
  • Severe obstructive or structural lung disease The presence of pneumococcus antigen in the urine was confirmed. Possibility of a positive urine antigen test for Legionella (special Legionella culture medium required)
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleural effusions

An admission to the intensive care unit; failure of outpatient antibiotic treatment; cavitary lesions; active alcohol consumption; severe obstructive or structural lung illness The presence of pneumococcus antigen in the urine. The presence of Legionella antigen in the urine (special Legionella culture medium are required). Effusion of pleura;

Considerations

Take a look at the list below:

  • Contamination with oral flora may cause findings to be invalidated. The collection of specimens following the initiation of antibiotic medication may result in the inhibition or complete absence of organism growth. On the laboratory slip, make a note of any current antibiotic medication.
  1. Davis’s Comprehensive Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications, 2nd edition
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  3. Davis’s Comprehensive Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications, 2nd edition Delmar’s Guide to Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 2nd edition, 2010
  4. Delmar’s Guide to Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 2nd edition, 2010
  5. Warren Levinson’s Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 11th edition
  6. Fischbach and Frances Talaska’s Manual of Laboratory Diagnostic Tests, 7th edition
  7. And others. Lippincott-Williams-Wilkins Publishing Company, 2004. Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, Bartlett JG, Campbell GD, Dean NC
  8. Bartlett JG, Campbell GD, Dean NC. Adults with community-acquired pneumonia should be managed according to the consensus guidelines developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society. Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. S27-72, published online March 1, 2007.

Sputum culture – Wikipedia

Sputum culture
Cocci -shapedEnterococcussp.bacteriataken from apneumoniapatient
ICD-9 90.4 2

In order to discover and identify bacteria or fungi that have infected the lungs or breathing passages, asputum culture is performed. Sputum is a viscous fluid that is formed in the lungs and the airways that surround them. In most cases, a fresh morning sample of sputum is chosen for bacteriological testing of the mucus. a sample of sputum is collected and transported to a laboratory for testing in a sterile, wide-mouthed, dry, leak-proof, and break-resistant plastic container with a tight-fitting lid Patients on respirators often have their sputum expectorated (produced by coughing) or induced (saline is sprayed into the lung to induce sputum production).

  • A bronchoalveolar lavage may be performed by an expert pneumologist for particular organisms such as Cytomegalovirus or “Pneumocystis jiroveci” in specific clinical circumstances (immunocompromised patients) in certain clinical contexts (immunocompromised patients).
  • If organisms that are capable of causing infection (pathogenicity organisms) develop in the culture, the culture is considered positive.
  • if the bacteria or fungi that potentially cause infection develop in the culture, subsequent tests can be performed to evaluate which antimicrobial treatment will be most successful in treating the problem This is referred to as susceptibility testing or sensitivity testing.
  • However, the Infectious Diseases Society of America suggests that sputum cultures be performed in patients with pneumonia who require hospitalization, although the American College of Chest Physicians cautions against this practice.
  • Pure cultures of common respiratory pathogens in the absence of upper respiratory flora, in combination with signs of respiratory distress, give solid proof of the infectious agent and the importance of the agent in question.

This is why laboratory processing of sputum for respiratory pathogens is carried out with the assistance of an abiological safety cabinet in the laboratory.

References

Sputum Examinations Lung infections should be checked for. Whenever you cough or clear your throat, the substance discharged from your respiratory system is referred to as sputum. The material contained within it can include a range of substances, such as mucus, cellular debris, blood, pus, and bacteria. It is possible that your doctor will recommend that you undergo a sputum culture or cytology study in order to test for and diagnose diseases of the lungs caused by bacteria such as TB.

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Preparation and Procedure

Before collecting a sputum specimen for culture or study, make arrangements with your local laboratory to obtain a sterile specimen collection container. To obtain the specimen, follow these steps:

  • When you first wake up in the morning, blow your nose to clear out any nasal and sinus secretions that have accumulated throughout the previous night’s sleep. Remove them from consideration
  • Water should be used to clean and rinse your mouth, teeth, and gums. Do not use toothpaste to brush your teeth. To exhale with a cough, take long breaths and inhale until your lungs are completely filled. Expel sputum from your lungs and place it in the sterile collecting container. It is not acceptable to expectorate saliva from your mouth. If the specimen is deemed to be inappropriate for analysis, you may be requested to collect another. Saliva may contaminate the specimen, and you may be asked to collect another. Deliver the specimen to the laboratory as soon as possible. If this is not possible, you may keep the specimen refrigerated for up to 24 hours before bringing it to the lab.

Time Required

Your time in the lab will be restricted to the period of time it takes you to check in, register with admitting, and remove your specimen from the lab environment. Results from the culture or research are normally submitted to your doctor within a few days; however, you may be confident that any significant results will be communicated to you as soon as they are available. When your doctor has finished reviewing the results, he or she will meet with you to discuss them.

Requirements

Before any laboratory test or operation may be performed, Michigan law requires that a valid order signed by an authorized person be submitted to the laboratory staff. The term “authorized personnel” refers to medical professionals such as doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners who have been granted permission to practice. According to the law, these specialists are responsible for interpreting test findings based on their knowledge of the specific patient’s circumstances.

Instructions for Collecting Sputum for TB (Tuberculosis) – Minnesota Dept. of Health

This information sheet provides step-by-step instructions for collecting a sample of sputum from a patient. On this page you will find: What is the purpose of a sputum test? Obtaining a sputum sample is a simple procedure.

  • Instructions for Collecting Sputum for Tuberculosis (PDF): Download the PDF version that is suitable for printing.
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Why is a sputum test necessary?

Your doctor wants to take some of the sputum (“phlegm”) that comes up from your lungs and save it for future use. The sputum will be tested for the presence of tuberculosis (TB) bacteria in the laboratory. The most accurate technique to determine if you have tuberculosis is to examine your sputum. If you are currently on TB medication, examining your sputum is the most reliable approach to determine whether or not the medication is effective. You must cough up phlegm from deep into your lungs in order to ensure that the test is accurate.

Saliva is a thin, watery liquid that originates from your mouth.

Using steam from a hot shower or a pan of boiling water will help if you are having trouble coughing up phlegm.

How to collect a sputum sample

Your doctor or nurse will provide you with a specific plastic cup that you will use to collect your sputum. Follow these instructions to the letter:

  1. The cup is perfectly clean. Don’t open it until you’re ready to use it
  2. Else, it will be wasted. You should brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with water as soon as you wake up in the morning (but before you eat or drink anything). Do not rinse your mouth with mouthwash. If at all feasible, take the sputum sample outside or via an open window before collecting it. When you cough, this helps to protect other individuals from contracting tuberculosis bacteria. Take a very deep breath and hold it for 5 seconds before exhaling. Take a deep breath out slowly. Take another deep inhale and cough vigorously until some phlegm comes up into your mouth
  3. Repeat as necessary. spit the sputum into the disposable plastic cup Do this until the sputum has reached the 5 milliliter (or greater) mark on the plastic cup. This amounts to around 1 teaspoon of sputum. Make sure the cap on the cup is tight so that it does not leak
  4. Make a note of the date you collected the sputum on the cup
  5. Place the cup in the box or bag that you were given by the nurse
  6. Give the cup to the person in charge of your clinic or nurse. If required, place the cup in the refrigerator overnight to keep it fresh. Keep it away from the freezer and away from the room temperature.

Sputum: Definition, colors, causes, and when to see a doctor

Sputum is formed when a person’s lungs are infected or injured, and it is discharged. Not saliva, but thick mucus (also known as phlegm) that is coughed up by the body from the lungs, is referred to as sputum. Mucus is produced by the body to keep the thin, sensitive tissues of the respiratory tract wet, allowing minute particles of foreign matter that may represent a hazard to be contained and driven out of the body. An excessive amount of mucus can be generated in some circumstances, such as when the lungs are infected.

  1. Excess sputum production can be caused by a variety of different factors in the body.
  2. Smoking Mucus builds up in the lungs of smokers, resulting in a cough known as “smoker’s cough.” The sputum that is generated might be green, yellow, or crimson in appearance.
  3. It is possible that this sensitivity will result in an inflammation of the airways as well as a rise in mucus production.
  4. Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary illness produced by a faulty gene that affects the lungs.
  5. Cystic fibrosis patients have thick mucus that provides a perfect habitat for germs to thrive.
  6. Infections of the respiratory tract (RTI) The presence of sputum that is different in color from saliva may indicate a lower RTI.
  7. As a general rule, sputum is dark green in color during the early stages of an illness and subsequently becomes lighter in color as the infection progresses further.

It is the presence of an enzyme known as myeloperoxidase that causes the green hue of sputum to appear when an infection is present. Some illnesses can cause sputum to appear yellow, gray, or rusty in color, depending on the infection.

Common RTIs

FluFlu, often known as influenza, can cause green phlegm. The following are the primary symptoms:

  • Phlegm that is green in color is associated with influenza, often known as flu. Here are the most prominent manifestations of the condition:

Additionally, general aches and pains, a chesty cough, and cold-like symptoms such as a clogged or runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat are also frequent signs of the flu. People should stay at home and relax, as well as drink lots of fluids and stay warm. When someone has the flu, over-the-counter pain relievers will be beneficial, and the majority of individuals will begin to feel better within a week. Antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir, can shorten the amount of time someone is unwell by 1-2 days if they are taken within 2 days of getting ill.

  • This is especially true if the person is really unwell or at high risk of developing complications.
  • Coughing up yellow-grey or greenish sputum is common in those who have this illness.
  • The duration of acute bronchitis is around 3 weeks.
  • It is a sign of a number of different lung disorders, including emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD).
  • Pneumoniapneumonia Other frequent signs and symptoms are as follows:
  • Other typical symptoms include general aches and pains, a chesty cough, and cold-like symptoms such as a clogged or runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat, among other things. People should stay at home and relax, as well as drink lots of water and keep themselves warm. Most people will begin to feel better after a week of taking over-the-counter pain relievers if they are suffering from the flu. Antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir, can shorten the amount of time someone is sick by 1-2 days if they are taken within 2 days of getting sick. When antiviral medications are administered later in the illness, they are more effective. This is especially true if the person is really unwell or at high risk of developing problems. Bronchitis It is bronchitis, an infection of the lungs’ major airways, which become inflamed and secrete excessive mucus as a result of the illness. Coughing up yellow-grey or greenish phlegm is a symptom of this illness. bronchitis is a lung ailment that can manifest itself as either an acute or a chronic condition. Acute bronchitis is a viral infection that lasts around three weeks. Chronic bronchitis is defined as a daily cough that produces sputum that lasts for at least 3 months and occurs for at least two consecutive years, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms of other lung disorders, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, might be observed (COPD). NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines) and lots of fluids are effective treatments for acute bronchitis that may be done at home in most circumstances. Pneumoniapneumonia Another set of symptoms that may appear is as follows:

If someone believes they may have pneumonia, they should seek medical attention. Tuberculosis is a disease that affects the lungs (TB) A person suffering from tuberculosis may cough up green or red sputum. In addition, they will have symptoms that might include the following:

  • Swelling in the neck and weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Weariness
  • Loss of appetite
  • And other symptoms

Although tuberculosis is a dangerous infection, it may be managed with a six-month course of medicines. Although tuberculosis is a bacterial illness that mostly affects the lungs, it may also have an influence on the upper body, glands, bones, and neurological system, among other organ systems. Pin it to your Pinterest board. Sputum may be an indication of a respiratory tract infection (RTI), which may necessitate medical attention in some cases. Anyone who has a suspicion of having tuberculosis should seek medical attention and receive treatment.

Because it has symptoms that are similar to those of other common RTIs, it can be difficult to identify.

In severe cases, hospitalization is required.

Doctors urge that you take over-the-counter pain relievers, drink plenty of water, and relax as much as possible.

When someone gets a severe cough that lasts for more than three weeks, here is an example of when this occurs.

If a person coughs up blood-tinged mucus, is breathing fast, experiences chest pains, or gets lethargic or disoriented, they should seek medical attention.

Those who do seek medical attention may be required to undergo a sputum culture testing procedure.

It can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of a particular therapy for a specific illness.

Specialized tests may be performed if the gram stain is unable to identify the bacterium that is causing the illness in the first place.

A sputum sample will often be taken first thing in the morning after waking up.

When being sent for a sputum test, persons may be requested to clean their teeth, rinse their mouth out with water, and refrain from eating for 1-2 hours before to the test appointment.

If a person is unable to cough up any sputum, they may be requested to inhale a sterile saline or glycerine solution in order to release the phlegm that has built up in their respiratory tract.

At times, steam inhalation can also be utilized to treat the condition. An additional test that a doctor may order in addition to the sputum culture is a complete blood count, which is used to screen for any other indicators of sickness.

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