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Lower digestive anatomy
Lower digestive anatomy


Definition:

Stool ova and parasites exam is a laboratory test to determine if a stool sample contains parasites or eggs (ova) that are associated with intestinal infections.



Alternative Names:

Parasites and stool ova exam



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. Then, put the sample in a clean container.

One test kit supplies a special toilet tissue that you use to collect the sample. You then put the sample in a clean container.

To collect a sample from a child in diapers, line the diaper with plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap is positioned properly, you can keep the stool separate from urine, thus ensuring a better sample.

Return the sample to your health care provider's office or laboratory as directed. At the lab, a small smear of stool is placed on a microscope slide and examined.



How the test will feel:

The laboratory test does not involve the patient. There is no discomfort.



Why the test is performed:

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of a parasitic infestation, prolonged diarrhea of unknown cause, or other intestinal symptoms.



Normal Values:

There are no parasites or eggs in the stool sample.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.



What abnormal results mean:

An abnormal result means parasites or eggs are present in the stool. This is a sign of a parasitic infestation. Such infections include:



What the risks are:

There are no risks.



References: DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 305.


Review Date: 11/2/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., 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. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. 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.
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