What is the role of a whiff test (amine odor test) in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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A whiff test is performed by adding several drops of 10% potassium hydroxide to a sample of vaginal discharge. A strong fishy odor is indicative of a positive test result. Such a result may suggest either trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis. Thus, the whiff test should not be considered an accurate means of diagnosing trichomoniasis. It is 1 of the 4 parts of the Amsel criteria used to diagnose bacterial vaginosis. [107]

The whiff test is now combined with vaginal pH on a single card; the FemExam pH and Amines TestCard. On this card, the pH paper color change and the odor test are replaced with plus or minus signs.

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