A bile culture test is performed to see if there is infection in the biliary tract. A specimen of bile is placed in culture media and observed for growth of microorganisms. If there is no growth in the culture, then there is no infection. If there is growth in the culture media, the growth is then isolated and identified to determine the appropriate method of treatment.
Review Date 7/1/2021
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.