Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling

What is Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling?

Brush cytology of the gastrointestinal tract is a technique to scrape or brush certain cells and microorganisms from the tissue that lines the mouth, oesophagus and stomach. Bacterial sampling is the identification of pathogens in the sample obtained by brush cytology. The sample is analysed in a laboratory to screen for a disease or identify the microorganisms that cause an infection.

Indications for Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling

Brush cytology and bacterial sampling of the GI tract is usually indicated for food poisoning caused by bacteria (bacterial intoxication) and bacterial infections.

Preparation for Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling

Talk to your doctor about the medicines you are taking and those you should stop taking prior to the procedure. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medicines or anaesthesia.

Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling Procedure

Brush cytology of the gastrointestinal tract may be performed under local or general anaesthesia and involves the following steps:

  • An endoscope is inserted into your mouth and advanced towards the GI tract. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light at the end. Images from the camera are transmitted to a large monitor for your physician to view the inside of the GI tract.
  • A cytology brush (with blunt bristles) is used to scrape the tissue.
  • The sample is smeared onto a glass slide and sent to the laboratory for examination.

Treatment of Food Poisoning or Bacterial Infection

Your treatment plan includes:

  • Taking prescription antibiotics
  • Consuming plenty of liquids
  • Avoiding caffeine or alcohol
  • Avoiding dairy products and spicy food
  • Getting plenty of rest

Advantages of Brush Cytology and Bacterial Sampling

The advantages include:

  • Minimum time required to obtain a tissue sample
  • Avoids a need for an incision or tissue biopsy
  • Minimum discomfort and cost

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