Induced sputum test: What do these results mean?

Posted by ann0616 @ann0616, Mar 8, 2020

Good afternoon,

I had induced sputum testing three mornings last week. Got day one results this morning and this is what they say:

Culture, Respiratory w/wo gram stain results:

Many endogenous flora
<10/LPF squamous epithelial cells
<10/LPF red blood cells
<10/LPF neutrophis
Rare gram – positive cocci, pairs

Obviously, I will contact my doctor after all three days are in, but does anyone know what any of this means?

Thanks!

Ann

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@ann0616 Hi Ann – what were they testing for? It sounds like they sent a sample through the regular lab, NTM culture screening takes several weeks, pseudomonas a couple of weeks, both are usually done in specialty labs. Maybe they did both a basic specimin test and are sending a culture? That is what my first pulmonologist did when he was trying to figure everything that was going on in my lungs. If it was me, I'd call the doctor's office on Monday and see what they are doing…Sue

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The acid Fast Smear for Mycobacterium reported as negative. How does this relate to whether or not I have MAC? This result came back in a day. Doesn't the lab have to culture the sputum sample to determine if MAC is present?

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@montsi

The acid Fast Smear for Mycobacterium reported as negative. How does this relate to whether or not I have MAC? This result came back in a day. Doesn't the lab have to culture the sputum sample to determine if MAC is present?

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At first when I was diagnosed for MAI, I had exactly the same question, because the pulmonologist told me it would take 2-6 weeks to see the results, but my "patient portal" notified me of results in a day. Here is what I learned:

The AFB is the "quick test" – in severe cases it will show MAC, but often not. It can also reveal other lung infections so it is a useful tool. Usually, the lab goes on to do a culture (or sends it out for a culture) based on the physician's orders.

If you are concerned about whether this is being done, you can call the provider's office and ask. Have you had MAC in the past?

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