Investigations

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TUBERCULOSIS INVESTIGATIONS

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  • Sputum (phlegm / expectoration) smear examination : It is usually the first choice with respect to tests and is done for detecting the TB germs (AFB – Acid Fast Bacilli).
  • Sputum Culture Examination : The sputum samples can be further tested for confirmation of active disease by culturing the sample on special culture media (LJ media) at specific temperatures.
  • The TB germs can also be demonstrated by a special type of technique called the : `Fluorescent Microscopic Technique’.
  • In case of an enlarged lymph node (neck), a needle biopsy (FNAC – Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) can be used to carry out the above procedures as well as study the characteristic histopathology.
  • In cases of TB of the skin, bone, joints, brain; an appropriate  tissue biopsy / body fluid can be taken to detect TB bacteria as well as study the characteristic histopathology.
  • X-Rays of the chest and other sites are also an important tool for diagnosis of TB.
  • Ultrasound / CT Scan / MRI Scan can be used to diagnose TB. 
  • Other tests for TB include:
    • ELISA test 
    • PCR
    • BACTEC
    • Mantoux or the Tuberculin test