World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sputum

Article Id: WHEBN0000238724
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sputum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hemoptysis, Curschmann's spirals, Papanicolaou stain, Pneumonic plague, Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
Collection: Symptoms and Signs: Respiratory System
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Sputum

Abnormal sputum
Cocci-shaped Enterococcus sp. bacteria taken from a pneumonia patient.
Classification and external resources
Specialty Pulmonology
ICD-10 R09.3
ICD-9-CM 786.4

Sputum ['spju.təm] is mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. This process is known as sputilization. [1] In medicine, sputum samples are usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections and cytological investigations of respiratory systems.

The best sputum samples contain very little saliva,[2] as saliva contaminates the sample with oral bacteria. This event is assessed by the clinical microbiologist by examining a Gram stain of the sputum. More than 25 squamous epithelial cells at low enlargement indicates salivary contamination.

When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.

Microbiological sputum samples are usually used to look for infections by Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. Other pathogens can also be found.

Purulent sputum[3] contains pus, composed of white blood cells, cellular debris, dead tissue, serous fluid, and viscous liquid (mucus). Purulent sputum is typically yellow or green. It is seen in cases of bronchiectasis, lung abscess, an advanced stage of bronchitis, or acute upper respiratory tract infection (common cold, laryngitis).

Sputum can be:

  1. Bloody[4] (hemoptysis)
  2. Blood-streaked sputum – inflammation of throat, bronchi; lung cancer;
  3. Pink sputum – sputum evenly mixed with blood, from alveoli, small bronchi;
  4. Massive blood – cavitary tuberculosis of lung, lung abscess, bronchiectasis, infarction, embolism.
  5. Rust colored – usually caused by pneumococcal bacteria (in pneumonia)
  6. Purulent – containing pus. The sputum colour of patients with acute cough and no underlying chronic lung disease does not imply therapeutic consequences such as prescription of antibiotics.[5] The colour can provide hints as to effective treatment in chronic bronchitis patients:[6]
  7. A yellow-greenish (mucopurulent) color suggests that treatment with antibiotics can reduce symptoms. Green color is caused by Neutrophil Myeloperoxidase.
  8. A white, milky, or opaque (mucoid) appearance often means that antibiotics will be ineffective in treating symptoms. This information may correlate with the presence of bacterial or viral infections, but current research does not support that generalization.
  9. Foamy white – may come from obstruction or even edema.
  10. Frothy pink – pulmonary edema.
  11. See also

    • Sputilization - the process of producing sputum: Word origin - group 5
    • Phlegm – the mucus produced by the respiratory system that is called sputum after it is expelled by coughing

    References

    1. ^ Sputum definition – Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms
    2. ^ Clinical Microbiology procedures handbook, American Society for Microbiology 2nd Ed. 2007 update
    3. ^ Richard F.LeBlond. Diagnostics_expectoration. US: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.  
    4. ^ Richard F.LeBlond. Diagnostics_expectoration. US: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.  
    5. ^ Sputum colour for diagnosis of a bacterial infection in patients with acute cough
    6. ^ Sputum Color is the Key to Treating Acute COPD Exacerbations

    External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.