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Alternative Names Return to topCulture - mycobacterial
Definition Return to top
Mycobacterial culture is a test to look for tuberculosis or a related organism in the body. It can be done on tissue taken from the bone marrow, liver, or lungs.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A sample of tissue is needed. A biopsy or aspiration will be done, depending on the suspected site of infection.
The sample is placed in a special laboratory dish (culture media) and watched to see if tuberculosis or similar bacteria grow.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
The preparation depends on the suspected site of infection.
For details, see:
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
How the test will feel depends on the specific procedure.
For details, see:
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of tuberculosis or a related infection.
Normal Results Return to top
If there is no disease present, there will be no growth of bacteria in the culture medium.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Mycobacterium tuberculosis or similar bacteria is present in the culture.
Risks Return to top
Risks depend on the specific biopsy or aspiration being performed. There are no risks associated with the culture itself.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.