A diagnostic test commonly used to demonstrate whether streptococcus bacteria (“strep”) are present in the throat. A throat infection with strep needs to be treated with an antibiotic.
The traditional test for a strep throat has been a throat culture; the major drawback is that the results of the throat culture take 2 to 3 days.
The rapid strep test is much quicker. It can produce results within minutes to hours. A cotton swab is rubbed against the back of the throat to gather a sample of mucous. This takes only 1 to 2 seconds. It makes some people feel a brief gagging or choking sensation. The mucus sample is then tested for a protein that comes from the strep bacteria.
There are several different types of rapid strep tests. They can only detect the presence of what are called “Group A” strep, the type most likely to cause serious throat infections. They do not detect other kinds of strep or other bacteria.
- Test, Rorschach
A psychological test involving inkblots. The inkblots are used to determine what a person perceives (reads into) in the enigmatic and highly ambiguous shapes. Ten standardized blots are shown one at a time to a subject and their responses are recorded. The Rorschach test became a common psychological test and is still in use in […]
- Test, stool occult blood
A test to check for microscopic blood in stool. (Fecal refers to stool. Occult means hidden.) Abbreviated stool OB.
- Test, stress echocardiography
A supplement to the routine exercise cardiac stress test. During stress echocardiography, the sound waves of ultrasound are used to produce images of the heart at rest and at the peak of exercise. In a heart with normal blood supply, all segments of the left ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart) exhibit enhanced […]
- Test, syphilis (FTA-ABS)
The fluorescent treponemal antibody absorbed (FTA-ABS) test for syphilis is a blood serum screening test designed to demonstrate the presence or absence of specific antibodies directed against the organism (Treponema pallidum) responsible for syphilis. The test detects the majority but not all cases of the disease. It is thus a way of screening for the […]
- Test, syphilis (RPR)
Rapid plasma reagin, a blood test for syphilis that looks for an antibody that is present in the bloodstream when a patient has syphilis. A negative (nonreactive) RPR is compatible with a person not having syphilis, but in the early stages of the disease, the RPR often gives false negative results. Conversely, a false positive […]