sputum test

Posted by ann0616 @ann0616, Jan 29, 2019

I have been recently diagnosed with bronchiectasis and have my first pulmonary appointment tomorrow. My doctor had me do a sputum test that was sent to the state lab and from looking at the name of the test (AFB smear) it looks like they are checking for tuberculosis. Is this normal procedure? This freaks me out. I have young grandchildren that I do not want to infect.

@ann0616 Hi Ann, did your doctor tell you that he/she suspected TB? In my experience, if TB was suspected, they would let you know. When I coughed up a lot of blood and spent a night in the ER a few years ago, the ER doctors suspected TB and notified the county infectious disease unit. A nurse specializing in infectious diseases paid me a visit the next day. She said she didn't think I had TB because I had no symptoms pointing to TB. But to be on the safe side, she would order sputum samples to be tested for TB. When I saw my pulmonologist shortly afterwards, he did not believe I had TB either. So he ordered chest X-ray and CT scan. When the results came back, I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and MAC. If they seriously suspect that you have TB, they will definitely warn you. When I left the ER, they had me wear a face mask and told me not to take it off until I was told otherwise. I only took it off when the infectious disease nurse told me to. I have a feeling you might have a similar situation. So try not to panic. TB is a serious infectious disease. So you doctor would not just let you walk out the door without giving you any indication if they truly suspected that you had it. Keep us posted what you find out from your pulmonologist.

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Ann, I was diagnosed after a high-resolution CT scan a couple weeks ago. At my pulmonary doctor visit, I was given a TB test (which is negative) and next comes a bronchoscopy. He seems to think I will need the 3 antibiotics at this point. Came as quite a shock as I was having little to no symptoms, work out regularly, including aqua aerobics. Did have bilateral mastectomies 2-1/2 years ago, so don't know if any chest discomfort was from that or the bronch??

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@lnduh66

Ann, I was diagnosed after a high-resolution CT scan a couple weeks ago. At my pulmonary doctor visit, I was given a TB test (which is negative) and next comes a bronchoscopy. He seems to think I will need the 3 antibiotics at this point. Came as quite a shock as I was having little to no symptoms, work out regularly, including aqua aerobics. Did have bilateral mastectomies 2-1/2 years ago, so don't know if any chest discomfort was from that or the bronch??

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@induh66 Hello. I see that you are new here to our site. Welcome. Have you had a chance to read over some of the older posts?

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Thank you. Yes, I have been reading quite a few posts. It is very new to me and totally came out of the blue (like the breast cancer). I originally had a screening CT of the abdomen ordered by my oncologist to make sure there was nothing going on and that scan showed the findings in my right lung. I am very apprehensive about having the bronchoscopy (mainly the throat numbing) in 2-1/2 weeks. I am so glad I found this site. I was actually on another site and someone said that this one is much better, so I checked it out. BTW, I was a smoker for 20 years and quit in 1992, so should figure something would come of that.

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