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How is fungal arthritis diagnosed?
Fungal arthritis is considered when a patient whose immune system is
compromised develops inflammation of a joint. Blood tests can include testing
the blood for the white blood count, inflammation markers (sedimentation rate,
or ESR, and C-reactive protein, or CRP), and cultures of the blood. Plain X-ray
images, CAT scanning, and/or MRI scanning can be used to determine the character
and extent of joint damage. Ultimately, joint fluid is aspirated from the joint
with a needle and syringe and this fluid is analyzed in the laboratory to
culture the precise fungal organism and establish the diagnosis.