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Smear of duodenal fluid aspirate

Smear of duodenal fluid aspirate is an examination of fluid taken from the duodenum  to check for signs of a possible infection (such as giardia or strongyloides ).

Alternative Names

Duodenal aspirated fluid smear

How the test is performed

For information on how the sample is taken, see: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

How to prepare for the test

Do not eat or drink anything, even water, for 12 hours before the test.

How the test will feel

You may have a gagging sensation as the tube is passed, but the procedure is usually not painful.

Why the test is performed

The test is done to diagnose infection of the small bowel, but it is only rarely necessary. In most cases, this test is only done when a diagnosis could not be made with a stool examination or other tests.

Normal Values

There should be no disease-causing organisms in the duodenum. 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

The results may show the presence of giardia protozoa, the intestinal parasite strongyloides, or another infectious organism.

What the risks are

The risks include bleeding, perforation of (poking a hole in) the gastrointestinal tract by the scope, and infection. Certain pre-existing conditions may prohibit use of this test.

Special considerations

Other, less invasive, tests can often detect the presence of giardia and other infections.

References

DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed.Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 291.

Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption.In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap142.

Giannella RA. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis and bacterial food poisoning. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger& Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 107.

Croft AC, Woods GL. Specimen collection and handling fordiagnosis of infectious diseases.In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia,Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 63.

Salwen MJ, Siddiqi HA, Gress FG, Bowne WB. Laboratory diagnosisof gastrointestinal and pancreatic disorders.In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia,Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 22.

Fritsche TR, Selvarangan R. Medical parasitology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 62.

Updated: 5/31/2012

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.


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