Yeungnam Univ J Med.  1988 Dec;5(2):129-139. 10.12701/yujm.1988.5.2.129.

Diagnostic Values of pH of Vaginal Discharge, Amine Test, and Microscopic Examination of Infectious Vaginitis


Vaginitis is one of the most common disease in gynecologic field in recent days. About 90% of these patients suffer from the infection of the vagina caused by Gardnerella vaginalis, Candida, or Trichomonas, either alone or in combination. For the effective diagnosis and management, it is essential to get an accurate identification of the causative agent. Applying simple and easy diagnostic methods such as pH of vaginal discharge, amine test and microscopic examination of wet mount preparation of normal saline and 10% KOH to 549 cases of randomly selected patients visiting Out-patient Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Yeungnam University Hospital through May 1st to Sept. 31st, 1987, the following results were obtained. 1. In the Gardnerella vaginitis vaginal pH was more than 5.0 in 81.0% of total cases, positive amine test in 62.8%, decreased lactobacilli in 77.4% & decreased WBC counts in 70.1%, In the Trichomonas vaginitis vaginal pH more than 5.0 was noted in 93.3% of the cases, negative amine test in 90%, decreased showed vaginal pH of 3.0~4.0 in 83.2%, negative amine test in 90%, decreased lactobacilli in 90% & increased WBC counts in 93.3%, whereas Candida vaginitis and normal groups showed vaginal pH of 3.0~4.0 in 83.2%, negative amine test in 100%, normal distribution of lactobacilli in 89.7%, normal WBC counts in 72.4%. 2. The accuracy rates of physical diagnosis by wet mount preparation of normal saline and 10% KOH revealed 26.3%, 47.5%, 70.0% in Gardnerella vaginitis, Candida vaginitis, and Trichomonas vaginitis, respectively. The vaginal pH and amine test showed 83.2% of accuracy rate in Candida vaginitis group, 60.6% in Gardnerella vaginitis group and 83.3% in Trichomonas vaginitis group. 3. In 23 cases of Gardnerella vaginitis showing vaginal pH of 3.0 or 4.0 and positive amine test, the clue cells were observed in 10% or less in 12 cases, 30% in 5 cases, 50% in 4 cases and 50% or more in 2 cases. In summary vaginal pH and amine test could be useful in screening and differentiating the different types of infectious vaginitis. Furthermore by adding microscopic examination of normal saline and 10% KOH wet mount preparation to them, they not only could obtain higher diagnostic accuracy rate but would be more valuable in selecting the patients requiring cultures to confirm the diagnoses.

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