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Gastric tissue biopsy and culture

Culture - gastric tissue; Culture - stomach tissue; Biopsy - gastric tissue; Biopsy - stomach tissue; Upper endoscopy - gastric tissue biopsy; EGD - gastric tissue biopsy

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Definition

Gastric tissue biopsy is the removal of stomach tissue for examination. A culture is a laboratory test that examines the tissue sample for bacteria and other organisms that can cause disease.

How the Test is Performed

The tissue sample is removed during a procedure called upper endoscopy (or EGD). It is done with a flexible tube with a small camera (flexible endoscope) at the end. The scope is inserted down the throat into the stomach.

The health care provider sends the tissue sample to a laboratory where it is examined for signs of cancer, certain infections, or other problems.

How the Test will Feel

Your provider will tell you what to expect during the procedure.

How to Prepare for the Test

Follow instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. You will likely be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.

Normal Results

A gastric tissue biopsy is normal if it does not show cancer, other damage to the lining of the stomach, or signs of organisms that cause infection.

A gastric tissue culture may be considered normal if it does not show certain bacteria. Stomach acids normally prevent too much bacteria from growing.

Risks

Your provider can discuss the risks of the upper endoscopy procedure with you.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results may be due to:

Why the Test is Performed

This test may be done to diagnose a stomach ulcer or the cause of other stomach symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper part of the belly
  • Black stools
  • Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material

A gastric tissue biopsy and culture can help detect:

  • Cancer
  • Infections, most commonly Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers

Review Date: 10/8/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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