The sample is then sent to a lab, and placed in a special dish (culture media) that allows bacteria or viruses to grow. The sample is placed under a microscope and checked at regular time periods to see if there are any organisms present and if they are growing.
Any organisms that grow on the culture are identified.
How to prepare for the test
This article discusses the culture test. For information on how to prepare for an upper endoscopy and biopsy procedure, see esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
Why the test is performed
A culture of duodenal tissue is done to check for bacteria that may lead to certain illnesses and conditions.
No harmful bacteria are found.
What abnormal results mean
An abnormal finding means that harmful bacteria has been found in the tissue sample. This may include organisms that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, such as:
Usually other tests are done to identify infection-causing organisms in duodenal tissue. These tests include the urease test (for example the Clotest) and histology (looking at the tissue under the microscope).
Routine culture for H. pylori is not currently recommended.
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Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, University of Washington; and George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.