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.
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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 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.
How the Test will Feel
Your provider will tell you what to expect during the procedure.
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
Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
A gastric tissue biopsy and culture can help detect:
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Park JY, Fenton HH, Lewin MR, Dilworth HP. Epithelial neoplasms of the stomach. In: Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Montgomery E, eds. Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 4.
Vargo JJ. Preparation for and complications of GI endoscopy. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 41.
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.