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Sputum fungal smear

KOH test; Fungal smear - sputum; Fungal wet prep; Wet prep - fungal

A sputum fungal smear is a laboratory test that looks for fungus in a sputum sample. Sputum is the material that comes up from air passages when you cough deeply.

How the Test is Performed

A sputum sample is needed. You will be asked to cough deeply and spit any material that comes up from your lungs into a special container.

The sample is sent to a lab and examined under a microscope.

How to Prepare for the Test

There is no special preparation.

How the Test will Feel

There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

Your health care provider may order this test if you have symptoms or signs of a lung infection, such as if you have a weakened immune system due to certain medicines or diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Normal Results

A normal (negative) result means no fungus was seen in the test sample.

Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results may be a sign of a fungal infection. Such infections include:

Risks

There are no risks associated with a sputum fungal smear.

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Sputum, fungus - culture. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:1038-1039.

Horan-Saullo JL, Alexander BD. Opportunistic mycoses. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 38.

    • Sputum test

      Sputum test - illustration

      A sputum sample is obtained by coughing deeply and expelling the material that comes from the lungs into a specimen container. The sample is transferred to a slide and examined under a microscope. A positive result indicates a fungal infection in the lungs.

      Sputum test

      illustration

      • Sputum test

        Sputum test - illustration

        A sputum sample is obtained by coughing deeply and expelling the material that comes from the lungs into a specimen container. The sample is transferred to a slide and examined under a microscope. A positive result indicates a fungal infection in the lungs.

        Sputum test

        illustration

      Tests for Sputum fungal smear

       

      Review Date: 12/13/2017

      Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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