A sputum fungal smear is a laboratory test that looks for fungus in a sputum sample. Sputum is the material that comes up from air passages when you cough deeply.
A sputum sample is needed. You will be asked to cough deeply and spit any material that comes up from your lungs into a special container.
The sample is sent to a lab and examined under a microscope.
There is no special preparation.
There is no discomfort.
Your health care provider may order this test if you have symptoms or signs of a lung infection, such as if you have a weakened immune system due to certain medicines or diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS.
A normal (negative) result means no fungus was seen in the test sample.
Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
Abnormal results may be a sign of a fungal infection. Such infections include:
There are no risks associated with a sputum fungal smear.
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.