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.
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
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.
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