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Near-Patient Testing for the Diagnosis of Vaginitis

Hall, Geraldine S. PhD, D(ABMM); Sautter, Robert L. PhD, HCLD(ABB)

Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: June 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 2 - p 87-89
doi: 10.1097/POC.0b013e3181a4c1d9
Focused Review in Microbiology: Guest Editor: Sheldon Campbell, MD, PhD

There are 3 main infectious disease causes of the clinical syndrome of vaginitis: Candida sp, Trichomonas vaginalis, and the entity referred to as bacterial vaginosis. The diagnosis of all 3 causes is often made with a combination of clinical criteria and observations of a wet mount preparation of the vaginal discharge for the presence of yeast (representative of Candida sp), motile trichomonads (T. vaginalis), and/or the presence of "clue cells." The wet mount examination lacks sensitivity, which can result in underdiagnosis of up to 72% of patients. The present article reviews guidelines for the diagnosis of vaginitis along with alternative and future methods of diagnosis in the point of care.

From the Section of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Clinical Pathology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH.

Reprints: Robert L. Sautter, PhD, HCLD(ABB), Carolinas Pathology Group, Carolinas Laboratory Network, Carolinas Medical Center, 1000 Blythe Blvd, Charlotte, NC. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.