Coordinated Health

Conditions

Definition

A duodenal tissue culture is a laboratory exam to check a piece of tissue from the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) for infection-causing organisms.

Alternative Names

Duodenal tissue culture

How the test is performed

A piece of tissue from the first part of the small intestine is taken during an upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy).

The sample is then sent to a lab, and placed in a special dish (culture media) that allows bacteria or viruses to grow. The sample is placed under a microscope and checked at regular time periods to see if there are any organisms present and if they are growing.

Any organisms that grow on the culture are identified.

How to prepare for the test

This article discusses the culture test. For information on how to prepare for an upper endoscopy and biopsy procedure, see esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

Why the test is performed

A culture of duodenal tissue is done to check for bacteria that may lead to certain illnesses and conditions.

Normal Values

No harmful bacteria are found.

What abnormal results mean

An abnormal finding means that harmful bacteria has been found in the tissue sample. This may include organisms that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, such as:

  • Campylobacter
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Salmonella

Special considerations

Usually other tests are done to identify infection-causing organisms in duodenal tissue. These tests include the urease test (for example the Clotest) and histology (looking at the tissue under the microscope).

Routine culture for H. pylori is not currently recommended.

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