Rapid yeast assay cheaper than culture, more sensitive than wet mount

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In the diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis, a rapid yeast detection assay is an accurate and economical alternative to the standard yeast culture and is more sensitive than the wet mount, according to a report published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Ashwin J. Chatwani, MD, of Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues obtained vaginal swabs from 104 women (34 of them asymptomatic women and 70 of them symptomatic with vaginitis) and performed yeast culture, wet mount, and rapid yeast detection tests.

Overall, the researchers found that the rapid yeast test had higher rates of sensitivity and negative predictive value (73.1% and 82%, respectively) than the wet mount (43.9% and 70.9%, respectively). They also found that the rapid yeast test had a higher sensitivity in symptomatic patients (77.4% vs. 51.6% for wet mount).

Chatwani AJ, Mehta R, Hassan S, et al. Rapid testing for vaginal yeast detection: a prospective study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007;196:309.e1-e4.

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