Small intestine aspirate and culture is a laboratory test to check for infection in the small intestine.
How the test is performed:
A sample of fluid from the small intestine is needed. This requires a procedure called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). For more information on this procedure, see EGD .
The fluid is placed in a special dish in the laboratory and observed for growth of organisms. This is called a culture.
How the test will feel:
The laboratory culture test does not involve the patient. For information on how the test to obtain the sample feels, see the article on EGD .
Why the test is performed:
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of an infection of the intestinal tract. This usually is not the first test that would be done.
Normally, small amounts of bacteria are present in the small intestine and do not cause disease. However, the test may be done when your doctor suspects that overgrowth of intestinal bacteria is causing diarrhea.
No disease-causing organisms should be found under normal conditions.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What abnormal results mean:
Abnormal results may be a sign of infection.
What the risks are:
There are no risks associated with a laboratory culture.
For information on risks associated with the procedure done to obtain the sample, see EGD .
References: Semrad CE, Powell DW. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 143.
|Review Date: 11/2/2008|
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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