Tag Archives: Sputum

Sputum

Definition:
Sputum is matter that is expelled from the respiratory tract, such as mucus or phlegm, mixed with saliva, which can then be spat from the mouth. It is usually associated with air passages in diseased lungs, bronchi, or upper respiratory tract and also a case of pneumonia.Common types of sputum are mucus and phlegm.

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It can be found to contain blood if a chronic cough is present, possibly from severe cases of tuberculosis.

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A sputum sample is the name given to the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. It is usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections.

The best sputum samples contain very little saliva, as this contaminates the sample with oral bacteria. This event is assessed by the clinical microbiologist by examining a Gram stain of the sputum. More than 25 squamous epithelial cells at low enlargement indicates salivary contamination.

When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.


Microbiological sputum samples

Microbiological sputum samples are usually used to look for infections by Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. Other pathogens can also be found.

Purulent Sputum is that containing, or consisting of, pus.
It is usually associated with air passages in diseased lungs, bronchi, or upper respiratory tract and also a case of pneumonia. It can be found to contain blood if a chronic cough is present, possibly from severe cases of tuberculosis. A sputum sample is the name given to the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. It is usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections. The best sputum samples contain very little saliva, as this contaminates the sample with oral bacteria. This event is assessed by the clinical microbiologist by examining a Gram stain of the sputum. More than 25 squamous epithelial cells at low enlargement indicates salivary contamination. When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.

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Sputum can be:

1.Bloody (often found in tuberculosis) (Hemoptysis)

2.Rusty colored – usually caused by pneumococcal bacteria (in pneumonia)

3.Purulent – containing pus. The color can provide hints as to effective treatment in Chronic Bronchitis Patients:-
……………..I) a yellow-greenish (mucopurulent) color suggests that treatment with antibiotics can reduce symptoms. Green color is caused by Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase.
…………….II)a white, milky, or opaque (mucoid) appearance often means that antibiotics will be ineffective in treating symptoms. (This information may correlate with the presence of bacterial or viral infections, though current research does not support that generalization.)

4.Foamy white – may come from obstruction or even Edema

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputum
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Sputum

http://forsah.net/medical/en/image/Sputum

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9945.htm

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Sputum Evaluation (and Sputum Induction)

 

Introduction:
If your doctor thinks you have pneumonia, he or she might examine a sample of your sputum, the phlegm that you cough out of your lungs, to try to determine what type of bacteria or other infectious agent might be the cause.

Sputum induction is also  a new support tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of occupational asthma.
In order to evaluate a new test for helping in the diagnosis and evaluation of occupational asthma, 24 workers with occupational asthma were recruited. Besides assessing their respiratory function, their bronchial inflammation was evaluated by sputum induction, a simple method that evaluates bronchial cellularity non-invasively. The results show that the functional and inflammatory parameters of subjects with occupational asthma improve mainly in the 6 months following removal from exposure. Furthermore, it appears that the workers with eosinophilic bronchial inflammation at the time of diagnosis evolve more favourably after removal from exposure than those without this inflammation.

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How do you prepare for the test?
Drink plenty of fluids the night before the test; this may help to produce a sample.

What happens when the test is performed?
You need to cough up a sample of sputum. To be useful for testing, the stuff you cough up has to be from deep within the lungs. If your cough is too shallow or dry, the doctor might ask you to breathe in a saltwater mist through a tube or mask. This mist makes you cough deeply, usually producing an excellent phlegm sample.

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Method and apparatus for inducing sputum samples for diagnostic evaluation

Lung Tests in Asthma

Risk Factor: No risk is involved.

Must you do anything special after the test is over? : Nothing

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The technician stains the sputum sample and views it under a microscope. Some of the sample is incubated to grow the bacteria or other germs in it for further testing. This step is called a sputum culture.While some stain results might be available on the day of your test, the culture usually requires several days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/sputum-evaluation.htm
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/_projet_3045.html

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