Sputum

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S.

Overview

Sputum is expectorated matter especially from the air passages in diseases of the lungs, bronchi, or upper respiratory tract. It is matter that is coughed up from the respiratory tract, such as mucus or phlegm, mixed with saliva and then expectorated from the mouth.

Causes

Life Threatening Causes

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Cardiac failure, Hughes-stovin syndrome, Idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis, Microscopic polyangiitis, Mitral valve stenosis, Pulmonary arterio-venous malformation, Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary hypertension, Pulmonary infarction
Chemical/Poisoning Mercaptopropionylglycine
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic Actinomycosis, Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia
Drug Side Effect Defibrotide, Dicoumarol, Warfarin
Ear Nose Throat Oropharyngeal cancer, Tonsillitis
Endocrine Bronchial adenoma
Environmental Foreign body in respiratory tract
Gastroenterologic E-coli, Mediastinal abscess
Genetic Carbamoylphosphate synthetase deficiency, Lymphangiomyomatosis
Hematologic Histiocytosis x, Igg deficiency, Tuberculosis, Warfarin
Iatrogenic Mitral valve stenosis
Infectious Disease Actinomycosis, Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, Amoebic abscess, Aspergillosis, Atypical pneumonia, Bacterial pneumonia, Bacteriodes, Bronchiectasis, Bronchitis, Bronchogenic carcinoma, Bronchogenic cyst, Common variable immune deficiency, Cyst, Dengue, Diffuse mucopurulent bronchitis, Diffuse panbronchiolitis, Echinococcus granulosus, E-coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Hiv, Hydatid cyst, Klebsiella, Legionaires disease, Lung abscess, Lymphomatoid granulomatosis, Mediastinal abscess, Melioidosis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Paracoccidioidomycosis, Paragonimiasis, Peptostreptococcus, Phenprocoumon, Plague, Pneumococcal infection, Pneumocystis, Pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, Pulmonary infections , Staphylococcal infection, Staphylococcus, Streptococuus pneumonia, Tonsillitis, Tuberculosis, Yersinia pestis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic No underlying causes
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional/Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Bronchial adenoma, Bronchogenic carcinoma, Histiocytosis x, Laryngeal carcinoma, Oropharyngeal cancer
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary Acute pulmonary edema, Alveolar hydatid disease, Amoebic abscess, Amyloidosis, Aspergillosis, Asthma, Atypical pneumonia, Bacterial pneumonia, Bacteriodes, Bronchiectasis, Bronchitis, Bronchogenic cyst, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Cystic fibrosis, Diffuse mucopurulent bronchitis, Diffuse panbronchiolitis, Echinococcus granulosus, Empyema with pleuro-bronchial fistula, Foreign body in respiratory tract, Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Hughes-stovin syndrome, Hydatid cyst, Idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis, Laryngeal carcinoma, Legionaires disease, Lung abscess, Lymphangiomyomatosis, Lymphomatoid granulomatosis, Maple bark stripper lung disease, Measles, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Plague, Pleural empyema, Pneumococcal infection, Pneumocystis, Pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, Pulmonary arterio-venous malformation, Pulmonary congestion, Pulmonary edema, Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary hypertension, Pulmonary infarction, Pulmonary infections , Right middle lobe syndrome, Staphylococcal infection, Staphylococcus, Streptococuus pneumonia, Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, Yersinia pestis
Renal/Electrolyte Goodpasture syndrome, Wegener's granulomatosis
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Amyloidosis, Common variable immune deficiency, Cyst, Cystic fibrosis, Goodpasture syndrome, Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Igg deficiency, Immunocompromise, Immunodeficiency, Microscopic polyangiitis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener's granulomatosis
Sexual Hiv
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order

Diagnosis

A sputum sample is the name given to the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways. It is usually used for microbiological investigations of respiratory infections.

The best sputum samples contain very little saliva, as this contaminates the sample with oral bacteria.

When a sputum specimen is plated out, it is best to get the portion of the sample that most looks like pus onto the swab. If there is any blood in the sputum, this should also be on the swab.

Microbiological sputum samples are usually used to look for infections by Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. Other pathogens can also be found.

Purulent Sputum is that containing, or consisting of, pus.

References


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