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Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsRespiratory Diseases · 1 decade ago

Sputum test for Tb?

How often do dr.'s do the sputum test? My skin test was positive, I then had the chest x-ray and now they asked me to come back for a sputum test. I'm obviously freaking out and I need someone to explain it to me. Do you think this is a good sign of active TB or is it common?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    TB isn't diagnosed without a positive sputum smear, so you have possibly been exposed to it in the past and don't have a case of active TB.

    Being exposed to TB is quite common, it doesn't mean at all that you're sick or contagious. It means that you have some concerning changes in your lungs and a test is necessary for a definitive diagnosis and treatment outline.

    Don't freak out-things are going to be fine! I hope you get your answers soon, God bless.

    Source(s): respiratory professional
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  • D
    Lv 5
    6 years ago

    You are being evaluated to see if you have the latent kind (not infectious) or active tb disease. The skin test is one piece of the puzzle, so is the chest xray. Whether you are symptomatic is another piece (unexplained weight loss, fatigue, coughing, bloody sputum, night sweats... these are all signs/symptoms of active tb). The final piece is to see what's going on in your lungs with the sputum test. The doc will take all the information to determine what medication, if any, they would like you to take.

    The sputum is smeared under a microscope to look for bugs that look like tb. (if they find some, it is called smear positive, and is a sign of active disease) Next they grow the sputum for 3 weeks to see if the tb germ grows. They let it go another 3 weeks, and your final result will be a 6 week culture. If the tb germ shows up at all then you are considered to have active disease. If not tb germ shows up then you are considered to have latent tb, or LTBI.

    You are going through a normal evaluation for tb. If you do have tb, then it is important to take the meds on schedule so you do not end up making yourself antibiotic resistant and more sick. Stop freaking out... if they didn't put a mask on you and tell you to stay home then things are looking good for you.

    Source(s): TB Case Manager
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The sputum exam is a confirmatory test for TB. Perhaps your X-rays were negative and they want to make sure your not sick even if your skin test was positive.

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  • 4 years ago

    Hard to say. You should be tested too.

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