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Alternative Names Return to topKOH test; Fungal smear - sputum
Definition Return to top
A sputum fungal smear is a laboratory test that looks for fungus in a sputum sample. Sputum is the material that comes up from air passages when you cough very deeply.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A sputum sample is needed. You will be asked to cough deeply and spit any material that comes up from your lung into a special container.
The sample is sent to a lab. A small amount is lightly smeared onto a microscope slide and mixed with potassium hydroxide (KOH). The slide is examined under the microscope and checked for fungus parts.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
There is no special preparation.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
Your doctor may order this test if you have abnormal sputum production or signs of a lung infection.
Normal Results Return to top
A normal test should show no fungus on the microscope slide.
Note: 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 Return to top
Abnormal results may be a sign of a fungal infection. Such infections include:
White blood cells called eosinophils may also be present. An abnormal result may also be due to acute pulmonary eosinophilia (Loeffler syndrome).
Risks Return to top
There are no risks associated with a sputum fungal smear.Update Date: 12/3/2007 Updated by: D. Scott Smith, M.D., MSc, DTM&H, Chief of Infectious Disease & Geographic Medicine, Kaiser Redwood City, CA & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Stanford University. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.