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To examine for yeast.


Aqueous potassium hydroxide (KOH) 10%, glass microscope slide, and coverslip.


  1. Place a drop of KOH onto the middle of the glass slide.

  2. Suspend a small amount of vaginal fluid into the drop of KOH.

  3. Overlay a coverslip.

  4. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes; as an alternative, gently heat the slide over a Bunsen burner but do not boil.

  5. Examine under microscope for hyphae and spores.

FIGURE 25.19

Candida albicans. Potassium hydroxide preparation of vaginal secretions from a patient with vaginal candidiasis due to C albicans. Note the pseudohyphae characteristic of this organism. (Photo contributor: David A. Eschenbach, MD. From Handsfield HH (ed). Atlas of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2011.)

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