What is the role of lab studies in the workup of dacryocystitis?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Grant D Gilliland, MD; Chief Editor: Edsel Ing, MD, MPH, FRCSC  more...
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In most cases, dacryocystitis is a clinical diagnosis.

Supportive laboratory analysis includes a complete blood count to assess the degree of leukocytosis; however, this rarely may assist in the determination of leukemia as an etiology of the lacrimal sac infection.

Blood cultures and cultures of the ocular surface, nose, and lacrimal sac discharge may prove useful in determining the appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody testing may be useful in ruling out granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener granulomatosis) as a cause of dacryocystitis and nasolacrimal duct obstruction.

Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing may be useful in the very rare cases of dacryocystitis caused by lupus involvement of the lacrimal drainage system with resultant obstruction and infection.

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