Inoculating pleural fluid into blood culture bottles improved yield in empyema - PulmCCM
Aug 102011

In the "why didn't I think of that?" department: Menzies et al performed pleural fluid sampling on 62 patients with clinical pleural infection, and sent samples to the lab in both standard tubes and in blood culture bottles inoculated at the bedside. 20 standard samples were culture-positive; adding the positive inoculated samples identified an additional 11 infections (an absolute increase in yield of 21%). They suggest we all do this routinely. I'm going to. Why not? Thorax 2011;66:658-662.

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  2 Responses to “Inoculating pleural fluid into blood culture bottles improved yield in empyema”

  1. never thought it would be compared, but I have been doing this just because those culture bottles seemed a better way for Cx to be sent. Great to see that someone actually looked at it.

  2. I haven’t been doing it, but I will be now. It seems like it’s surprisingly rare to get a positive pleural fluid culture even when parapneumonic effusion / empyema seems highly likely. I suspect the vast majority of people are on initial appropriate antibiotic coverage, so doubt this will improve outcomes measurably. But even if it just allows faster narrowing / better targeting of antibiotics, it would be helpful.