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Ascaris lumbricoides egg
Ascaris lumbricoides egg


Gelatin capsule in stomach
Gelatin capsule in stomach


Definition:

A string test involves swallowing a string to obtain a sample from the upper part of the small intestine. The sample is then tested to detect the presence of intestinal parasites. The string test is rarely used in the United States.



Alternative Names:

Duodenal parasites test



How the test is performed:

You swallow a string with a weighted gelatin capsule on the end. Four hours later it is pulled back out. Any bile , blood, or mucus attached to the string is examined under the microscope for cells and parasites or parasite eggs.



How to prepare for the test:

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the test.



How the test will feel:

You may find it difficult to swallow the string, and you may feel an urge to vomit when the string is being removed.



Why the test is performed:

The test is performed when the doctor suspects a parasite infection, but no parasites were found in a stool sample.



Normal Values:

No presence of blood, parasites, fungus, or abnormal cells is normal.

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:

Abnormal results may indicate the presence of giardia or another parasitic infestation.



What the risks are:



Special considerations:

Previous drug treatment can affect the test results.



References: Sears CL. Giardiasis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 372.


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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