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German: Sediment

1 Definition

Sediment is the professional term for the deposit that develops when you centrifugate a suspension or leave it untouched over some time. The creation process of a sediment is called sedimentation.

2 Medical meaning

Sedimentation is used in medicine for the accumulation of solid components that are only present in a low concentration in a fluid. Typical applications are the urinary sediment and the cerebrospinal fluid sediment. You can also gain sediment from punctates.

In bacteriological examinations from the sediment, germs can be demonstrated much better than when spreading out the original fluid. That's why you should not take "swabs" from fluids for microbiology. Fluids are best caught in a sterile tube and sent off as a sample (preanalytics).

Frequently, cytological examinations from urine, cerebrospinal fluid or punctates are required eg. to confirm the suspicion of pleural metastases. Herefore, particularly gentle methods of sedimentation are available to preserve the cell structures, eg. Cytocentrifuges or Sayk's chamber. What's important is a fast sample transport, since cellular components are degenerating quickly.

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