Do not eat or drink anything, even water, for 12 hours before the test.
How the test will feel
You may have a gagging sensation as the tube is passed, but the procedure is usually not painful.
Why the test is performed
The test is done to diagnose infection of the small bowel, but it is only rarely necessary. In most cases, this test is only done when a diagnosis could not be made with a stool examination or other tests.
There should be no disease-causing organisms in the duodenum. 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
The results may show the presence of giardia protozoa, the intestinal parasite strongyloides, or another infectious organism.
What the risks are
The risks include bleeding, perforation of (poking a hole in) the gastrointestinal tract by the scope, and infection. Certain pre-existing conditions may prohibit use of this test.
Other, less invasive, tests can often detect the presence of giardia and other infections.
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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 fordiagnosis 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 diagnosisof 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.
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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. Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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