Chemical analysis of the sputum from a patient with chyloptysis can support the diagnosis.


An early morning specimen is recommended.


Features of sputum in chyloptysis on chemical analysis:

(1) The triglyceride concentration is often >= 250 mg/dL.

(2) The cholesterol concentration is often < 50 mg/dL but may be higher if the triglyceride concentration is very high.

(3) The ratio of cholesterol to triglyceride concentration is < 0.10.

(4) Chylomicrons are present on lipoprotein electropheresis.


Features of the sputum on smear exam:

(1) The fluid is acellular (exception: inflammatory cells during period of infection).

(2) The lipid material stains with Sudan III.


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