Dysentery laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kalsang Dolma, M.B.B.S.[2]

Laboratory Findings

  • Fecal leukocytes and occult blood : The ability of these tests to diagnose the presence of dysentery is variable
  • Fecal lactoferrin : Lactoferrin is a marker for fecal leukocytes and has sensitivity and specificity ranging from 90 to 100 percent in distinguishing inflammatory diarrhea from noninflammatory causes. This test is not widely used.
  • Cultures of stool samples are examined in order to identify the organism causing dysentery. Usually, several samples must be obtained due to the changing number of amoeba, which changes daily.
  • Blood tests can be used to measure abnormalities in the levels of essential minerals and salts.

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