Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

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Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Stool Examination R/M

Stool Examination R/M
You need to provide
Stool
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required

Overview


What is Stool Examination R/M?

The stool examination R/M (routine microscopy) is an examination of stool sample slide under a routine microscope. This test helps to diagnose conditions affecting the digestive tract which include infections from bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Why is Stool Examination R/M done?

The stool examination R/M is done:


  • If you have symptoms suggesting disease of the digestive tract such as prolonged diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, and fever

  • If there is a suspicion of parasitic infection in the intestine like the amoeba, giardia, etc.

  • To screen for colon cancer by checking the presence of occult (hidden) blood

  • To check for poor absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract (malabsorption syndromes)

What does Stool Examination R/M Measure?

The stool examination R/M (routine microscopy) is done by taking concentrated sediment of fresh or formalin preserved stool followed by drying the slide to make the specimen dry. It is then fixed with the reagents and stained with different stains. After the staining procedure is completed, the slide is examined under the microscope at different fields to identify protozoan trophozoites and cysts and for confirmation of any other species.  Depending upon what species is present, the reporting of the stool slide is made.

Interpreting Stool Examination R/M results


Interpretations

  • High levels of fat in the stool may be caused by diseases such as pancreatitis, celiac disease, or other disorders that affect the absorption of fat 

  • Presence of ova in the stools indicate that there are parasites in the GIT 

  • Blood in the stool may be caused by bleeding in the digestive tract as in colon cancer

  • White blood cells in the stool may be due to inflammation of the intestines such as ulcerative colitis 

  • Rotaviruses are a common cause of diarrhea in young children. If diarrhea is present, testing may be done to look for rotaviruses in the stool 

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stool Examination R/M


Frequently Asked Questions about Stool Examination R/M

Q. How should I collect my stool sample?
Urinate before collecting the stool. Put on gloves before handling your stool. Pass stool into a dry container. Place the lid over the container, label it with your name and send it to the lab.
Q. How a stool specimen is examined?
The stool specimen is preserved in formalin. It can be examined directly by the methods like wet mount, immunoassay, chromotrope stain, and UV fluorescence. The specimen can be concentrated as well prior to testing.
Q. What are the other disease conditions that can cause diarrhea?
Other than pathogenic bacteria, diarrhea can be caused by a viral infection such as norovirus, a parasitic infection such as giardiasis, food intolerance, medications (directly causing diarrhea or indirectly by decreasing normal flora), bowel disease or bowel dysfunction (e.g., celiac disease, malabsorption, or inflammatory bowel disease). Diarrhea may also be caused or worsened by psychological stress.
Q. What are the different staining procedures used for staining the stool specimen?
The different staining procedures used for staining the stool specimen include Modified acid-fast staining procedure, Chromotrope staining procedure, Quick-Hot gram-Staining procedure, Modified safranin technique (hot method) staining procedure, Trichrome staining procedure, and Calcoflour white staining procedure.
Q. What can be the risk factors of developing complications of infective diarrhea?
The following patients are at risk of developing complications of infective diarrhea if they are very young (infants and toddlers), elderly patients, and patients with a weak immune system.
Q. What could be the source of infection of diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a food and water-borne disease. Pathogenic bacteria can enter and infect the digestive tract when someone consumes contaminated food or water. Examples of contaminated sources include raw or under cooked eggs, poultry or beef, unpasteurised milk, and untreated water from lakes, streams, and from contaminated water supplies.
Q. What are the symptoms of infective diarrhea?
The most common symptoms of a pathogenic bacterial infection are prolonged diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, mucus in stool, stomach pain and cramps, and nausea. If diarrhea lasts more than a few days, it may lead to complications such as dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can be life-threatening, especially in children and the elderly. Dehydration can also cause symptoms such as dry skin, fatigue, and light-headedness. Severely affected people may need hospitalization for fluid and electrolyte replacement. Complications of untreated infected diarrhea can include hemolytic uremic syndrome. This is a serious complication characterized by the destruction of red blood cells and kidney failure that may occasionally arise from an infection with a toxin-producing strain of the bacteria Escherichia coli. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is most frequently seen in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
Q. What can be done to prevent gastro-intestinal infection?
Several precautions can be exercised to avoid gastrointestinal infections such as not drinking water or eating food that may be contaminated, following good sanitation practices which includes thorough and frequent hand washing, cooking food that might be contaminated (e.g., as raw meat and eggs) thoroughly, avoiding unpasteurised dairy products, avoiding eating food from street vendors and careful hand washing by all family members in case someone close in contacts has an infection causing diarrhea. The person infected should not prepare food or drinks for others until the infection is resolved.
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