Chromatography/mass spectrometry

What is chromatography/mass spectrometry?

It is a modern diagnostic method that helps to identify or specify the origin of infectious and inflammatory processes that accompany any disease. The test identifies microbial markers. These markers form as a result of microbial activity and have a specific chemical composition. Chromatography/mass spectrometry method helps to identify such specific composition and accurately diagnose not only the presence of pathogenic microorganisms but also their type. The test detects more than 50 types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Chromatography/mass spectrometry at Kivach Clinic

Chromatography/mass spectrometry is used in the following areas:

  • Gastroenterology. If there is a suspicion of dysbiosis (dysbacteriosis) of the intestine or the bacterial overgrowth syndrome.
  • Otorhinolaryngology and pulmonology. When diagnosing the infections of upper and lower airways, chronic bronchitis, chronic infection of the nasopharynx.
  • Urology and Gynecology. If there is a suspicion of a chronic urogenital infection, as well as when diagnosing the infection of the urinary system.
  • Reproductive medicine. To identify the causes of infertility.

Test results help to identify the types of pathogenic microorganisms that cause the inflammatory process, as well as detect “hidden” infections which do not actively manifest themselves at the moment. Treatment strategy is formed based on the obtained data. High accuracy of this method and the ability to detect a pathology at an early stage makes this strategy is the most effective one for solving a patient’s problems.

How is the test conducted?

A sample of biological material is taken for examination. The method of collecting the samples depends on a patient’s complaints and medical history. Urine, stool, semen, and sputum are collected by the patient himself/herself. Blood, swabs of the mucous lining, prostate fluid, vaginal secretions are collected by a specialist in a doctor's office.

The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is analyzed using a chromatography/mass spectrometer. There are two physical methods used in the analysis:

  • Chromatography. It divides the sample into components.
  • Mass-spectrometry. The components obtained through chromatography are identified, their chemical composition is defined, and quantitative analysis is carried out. The sensitivity of the device makes it possible to identify from 10,000 to 100,000 cells in one sample.

The result is a list of detected microorganisms with an indication of abnormalities. A doctor will interpret this data, issue a medical evaluation, and provide recommendations.


The method has no contraindications. The intake of some medicines, especially antibiotics, can lead to inaccurate results.


  1. Is the test safe?
  2. Yes, the test is absolutely safe.

  3. Is the test painful?
  4. If a blood sample is drawn, a patient might feel discomfort in the area where the skin is punctured.

  5. How to prepare for the test?
  6. The preparation depends on the biological material taken for research.
    In order to get the most accurate result, a patient must inform the doctor about any medication that he/she is taking. A patient might have to stop taking certain medications while the test is carried out.

    Stool analysis. A patient collects a small amount of stool (no bigger than a pea in size) and puts it into a sterile plastic container.

    Urine analysis. A patient collects a urine sample in a sterile plastic container first thing in the morning. Right before that he/she cleans the urinary opening. Urine is collected using a clean catch method, and the container is filled to at least 1/3 of its size.

    Sputum analysis. A patient collects the sputum in a sterile container. Before expectoration, a patient has to brush his/her teeth and rinse the mouth with boiled water.

    Semen analysis. The patient collects the ejaculate in a sterile plastic container. A patient should abstain from sexual intercourse, alcohol, and intensive physical exercise three days prior to collecting a sample.

    Vaginal secretions analysis. Vaginal secretions are collected by a gynecologist. A patient should stop using vaginal suppositories two days before the samples are collected.

    Throat swab test. The sample is collected by a nurse or doctor. The patient should not rinse the mouth with disinfectants or medications, as well as brush the teeth several hours before the swab test.

    Blood analysis. A blood sample is drawn by a nurse and does not require any preparation from the patient.

  7. Are complications possible?
  8. There are no complications.

  9. What ensures that the test is successful?
    • Qualified medical specialists with extensive practical experience.
    • Advanced equipment.
    • Compliance with the standards of medical care.