This laboratory test is performed on a pleural fluid sample to detect Acid-fast bacilli such as Mycobacterium species causing infection. It involves staining and microscopic examination of the sample.
Why is this test performed?
This test is performed to detect the presence of Acid-fast bacilli such as mycobacterium tuberculosis. It helps in diagnosing AFB infections that are causing fluid accumulation in the pleural space. This test also helps in determining the progress of treatment.
Your doctor will ask you to change into a hospital gown and sit on a hospital bed or chair with your hands resting on the table
Thoracentesis: In this process, a little area on your thorax is cleaned and numbed to remove pleural fluid from the pleural space with the help of a needle
The sample is collected in a container and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparations are required for this test. Inform your doctor about your complete medical history especially of allergy, and bleeding problems.
Is the procedure painful?
No, a numbing medicine is used to make it a painless procedure. However, pressure is felt from the needle.
What are the symptoms of tuberculous pleural effusion?
Pleuritic chest pain
Shortness of breath
What is Thoracentesis?
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove pleural fluid from the pleural space of the lung with the help of a needle. It is used for pleural fluid analysis and removal of excess pleural fluid.
What are the risks of this test?
Partial or complete lung collapse
Infection at the puncture site
Positive or negative
Interpretation of test results:
Positive: A positive test result means that Acid-fast bacilli are detected in the pleural fluid which is causing the infection.
Negative: A negative test result means that Acid-fast bacilli are not detected in the pleural fluid and the infection might be due to other microorganisms.
You should get tested:
If your doctor suspects tuberculous pleural effusion
If you have sign and symptoms of tuberculous pleural effusion