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1. a mass of salivary matter ejected from the mouth
2. saliva ejected from the mouth mixed with mucus or pus exuded from the respiratory passages, as in bronchitis or bronchiectasis
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



pathological secretions from the respiratory tract that are discharged with a cough; they are the product of the overactivity of the mucous glands. Sputum often contains epithelial cells, bits of lung tissue, blood, and pus. The amount of sputum, as well as its appearance, is important in the diagnosis of disease.

Sputum may be mucous, purulent, serous, bloody, or mixed. Rusty sputum (sputum mixed with and colored by blood) is a sign of lobar pneumonia. Abundant purulent sputum is characteristic of a ruptured abscess in the lungs. Gray, dirty, malodorous sputum appears when there is putrefactive decomposition of lung tissue.

Sputum may be examined in a laboratory with the aid of a microscope and also by bacteriological and cytological analyses. Laboratory examination makes it possible to detect pathogenic microorganisms (including the causative agent of tuberculosis), cells of malignant tumors, and certain other elements that are characteristic of certain diseases, and to determine the sensitivity of bacterial flora to antibiotics.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Material discharged from the surface of the respiratory passages, mouth, or throat; may contain saliva, mucus, pus, microorganisms, blood, or inhaled particulate matter in any combination.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the levosalbutamol group 91.3% of females induced sputum. This result correlates with the study done by Long et al.
Seys et al., "Pepsin and bile acids in induced sputum of chronic cough patients," Respiratory Medicine, vol.
specimen Candida species Oropharyneal, Atypical forms Mucosal oesophageal scrapings, and vulvo- brushings or vaginal biopsy mucosa Cryptococcus Meninges and All suspected Cerebrospinal species brain cases fluid Blood (or serum) Pneumocystis Pulmonary All suspected Induced sputum, jirovecii cases bronchoalveolar lavage, lung biopsy, etc.
Of the 26 patients studied, adequate induced sputum samples were obtained from 24 (92%).
Inflammatory subtypes in asthma: Assessment and identification using induced sputum. Respirology 2006;11:54-61.
Sampling methods of the lower airways are typically based on BAL, bronchial brushes, or collection of induced sputum [50].
Gibson, "Inflammatory subtypes in asthma: assessment and identification using induced sputum," Respirology, vol.
Induced sputum provided an increased yield for potential pathogens compared with nasopharyngeal specimens, notably for B.
In studies conducted in humans, it has been reported that the participation in a long distance race training program over the course of a year generates a persistent inflammatory process with no apparent clinical repercussion and an increase in PMNs and in IL-8 concentrations, leukotriene [E.sub.4], and histamine in the supernatant of induced sputum samples [130].
Conclusions: Smoking longer asthma duration and increased neutrophil in induced sputum are risk factors for PAFL while regular corticosteroid inhalation is protective factor.
Children were tested in a study in Bangladesh where blood culture was done and sputum samples (one sample each by gastric lavage and induced sputum) was sent for TB smear microscopy, culture testing and Gene Xpert MTB/ RIF.