St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Fecal smear

    Stool smear

    Fecal smear is a laboratory test to check a stool sample forbacteria and other germs that can cause diseases in the digestive tract.

    How the Test is Performed

    A stool sample is needed.

    There are many ways to collect the sample. You can catch the stool on plastic wrap that is loosely placed over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. One test kit supplies a special toilet tissue that you use to collect the sample. When finished, put the sample in a clean containerfrom your health care provider's office.

    To collect the sample from a child in diapers, line the diaper with plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap is positioned properly, you canseparate the stool from the child's urine. Preventing the mixing of urine and stool will give a better sample. When finished, put the sample in a clean container given to you by your health care provider's office.

    Make sure you follow your health care provider's instructions for returning the sample. Return the sample to the laboratory as soon as possible. The sample should not include toilet tissue or urine.

    The stool sample is sent to a lab where a small amount is placed on a slide. The slide is placed under a microscope and checked for the presence of bacteria, fungi, or viruses. A stain may beplaced on the samplethat highlights certain germs under the microscope.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    There is no preparation needed.

    How the Test Will Feel

    There is no discomfort.

    Why the Test is Performed

    Yourhealth care providermay order this test if you have severe diarrhea that will not go away or that keeps returning. The test result may be used to select thecorrect antibiotic treatment.

    Normal Results

    A normal result means there are no disease-causing germs present.

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to yourhealth care providerabout the meaning of your specific test results.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    An abnormal result means that abnormal bacteria or other organisms have been found in the stool sample, which may be due to an infection of the digestive tract.

    Risks

    There are no risks associated with a fecal smear.

    References

    DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infeciton. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine.24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 291.

    Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 142.

    Giannella RA. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis and bacterial food poisoning. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 107.

    Croft AC, Woods GL. Specimen collection and handling for diagnosis of infectious diseases. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 63.

    Salwen MJ, Siddiqi HA, Gress FG, Bowne WB. Laboratory diagnosis of gastrointestinal and pancreatic disorders. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 22.

    Fritsche TR, Selvarangan R. Medical parasitology.In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 62.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Lower digestive anatomy

      illustration

      • Lower digestive anatomy

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Fecal smear

          Review Date: 4/26/2012

          Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile