Small intestine aspirate and culture is a lab test to check for infection in the small intestine.
How the Test is Performed
A sample of fluid from the small intestine is needed. A procedure called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is done to get the sample.
The fluid is placed in a special dish in the laboratory. It is watched for growth of bacteria or other organisms. This is called a culture.
How the Test will Feel
You are not involved in the test once the sample is taken.
Why the Test is Performed
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of too much bacteria growing in the intestinal tract. In most cases, other tests are done first.
Normally, small amounts of bacteria are present in the small intestine and they do not cause disease. However, the test may be done when your doctor suspects that excess growth of intestinal bacteria is causing diarrhea.
No bacteria should be found.
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
Abnormal results may be a sign of infection.
There are no risks associated with a laboratory culture.
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Update Date 5/15/2014
Updated by: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.