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Aspergillus immunodiffusion test; Test for precipitating antibodies
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is examined for precipitin bands that form when Aspergillus antibodies are present.
How to Prepare for the Test
There is no special preparation.
How the Test Will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the Test is Performed
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of an Aspergillosis infection.
A normal test result means you do not have Aspergillus antibodies.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
A positive result means antibodies to the fungus have been detected. This means you have been exposed to the fungus at some point, but it does not necessarily mean you have an active infection.
False-negative results are possible. For example, invasive aspergillosis often does not produce a positive result, even though Aspergillus is present.
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Stevens DA. Aspergillosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 360.
Patterson TF. Aspergillus species. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 258.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; 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., Inc.