Definition Aspergillosis precipitin is a blood test that detects antibodies against a common fungus, or mould, called Aspergillus. The aspergillosis infection spreads in the bloodstream. It may cause an infection in the ear, cornea of the eye, heart valves, sinuses, lungs or brain.
Who is a candidate for the test? This test is normally performed to detect and diagnose a particular fungal infection. This test may be done on a person who has symptoms similar to symptoms of pneumonia or tuberculosis with a history of:
It may also be done on a person with clouded vision, eye pain, and reddened eyes.
How is the test performed? A blood sample is taken from a vein on the forearm or hand. First, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or tourniquet, is wrapped around the upper arm. That enlarges the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them.
A fine needle is gently inserted into a vein and the rubber tube is removed. Blood flows through the needle and is collected in a syringe or vial for testing in the laboratory. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.
What is involved in preparation for the test? Usually there is no preparation for this test, but a person should request specific instructions from his or her doctor.
What do the test results mean? Normally, no aspergillus antibodies are found in the bloodstream.
If aspergillus antibodies are present, a person may have aspergillosis.
Strong antibodies indicate aspergillosis. This infection may involve the mucous membranes, the lungs and the skin.
Weak antibodies may indicate an early fungal infection or a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a lung disease caused by a sensitivity to inhaled dust particles, such as those associated with hobbies or occupations that involve dust exposure.
Author: David T. Moran, MD Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel Editor: Dr John Hearne Last Updated: 19/09/20041 Contributors Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request
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