A colonic tissue culture is a lab test to check for the cause of disease. The sample of tissue for the test is taken from the large intestine. The cause may be bacteria, fungi, or viruses.
The health care provider removes a piece of tissue from your large intestine. This is done during a colonoscopy.
If certain germs grow, more tests will be done to identify them. This helps decide the best treatment.
There is no specific preparation needed for a culture.
Once the sample is taken, the culture does not involve you. Therefore, there is no pain.
Your provider may order this test if you have signs or symptoms of a large intestine infection. A culture is often done when other tests such as a stool culture could not identify the cause of infection.
A normal result means that no disease-causing organisms have grown in the lab dish.
Some "healthy" bacteria, called bowel flora, are normally found in the gut. The growth of such bacteria during this test does not mean there is an infection.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about your test results.
An abnormal result means that disease-causing organisms have grown in the lab dish. These organisms may include:
These organisms may lead to diarrhea or colon infections.
There are no risks in a colonic tissue culture.
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.