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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Routine Sputum Culture

Routine Sputum Culture

Alternate Names : Routine Sputum Culture

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

This test attempts to detect and identify organisms in the sputum. Sputum is a secretion coughed up from the lungs. It is different than saliva, which comes from the mouth.

Who is a candidate for the test?

This test is ordered when the healthcare provider suspects an infection in the lungs or bronchi, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. The bronchi are the tubes that carry air to the lungs. In many cases, sputum will contain the infection-causing organism when a lung infection is present.

How is the test performed?

The person is asked to cough deeply to bring up sputum. The sputum can then be spit into a cup. The sputum is taken to a lab, where it is placed in special containers. These containers have food and other things to help organisms, such as bacteria, grow. Any bacteria that grow in the containers can be identified.


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Routine Sputum Culture: Preparation & Expectations

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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