Reference Index - Medical Tests

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Bronchoscopy
Bronchoscopy


Bronchoscopic culture
Bronchoscopic culture


Bronchoscopic culture

Definition:

Bronchoscopic culture is a laboratory exam to check a piece of tissue from the lungs for infection-causing organisms.



Alternative Names:

Culture - bronchoscopic



How the test is performed:

A sample of lung tissue is needed. For information on how that sample is obtained, see: Bronchoscopy

The sample is sent to a laboratory, and placed in a special dish (culture media) that allows bacteria or viruses to grow. The sample is placed under a microscope and examined daily for the presence of bacteria or other infection-causing organisms. Treatment is based on the results of the culture.



How to prepare for the test:

This article discusses the culture test. For information on preparing for the procedure to take the tissue sample, see: Bronchoscopy



How the test will feel:

See: Bronchoscopy



Why the test is performed:

A bronchoscopic culture is done to find infection in the lung that cannot be accurately detected by a sputum culture . The procedure may find evidence of infection, such as:

A bronchoscopy may also be performed for respiratory conditions other than infection, such as when cancer is suspected.



Normal Values:

No organisms are seen on the culture.



What abnormal results mean:

Abnormal culture results usually indicate a respiratory infection. The infection may be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. The results of the culture will help determine the best treatment.



What the risks are:

There are no risks involved with the laboratory culture. For risks involved with the bronchoscopy procedure, see: Bronchoscopy




Review Date: 12/17/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Daniel Levy, MD, Infectious Disease, Maryland Family Care, Lutherville, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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