What testing should be included in routine screenings for systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Updated: May 07, 2018
  • Author: Lewis J Kaplan, MD, FACS, FCCM, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Routine screenings often also include a basic metabolic profile. Other laboratory tests should be individualized based on patient history and physical examination findings. Measuring every possible measurable marker of inflammation, injury, and infection in all patients is discouraged. Since infectious SIRS etiologies have a high mortality if not treated effectively, and since effective treatment for infection often requires bacteriologic identification of the inciting organism, priority for bacteriological cultures in the diagnostic workup needs to be stressed.  Although one can measure almost anything, tests to consider include the following:

  • Blood cultures

  • Urinalysis and culture (even in asymptomatic patients)

  • Sputum Gram stain and culture (if respiratory symptoms)

  • Cardiac enzymes

  • Amylase

  • Lipase

  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis

  • Liver profiles

  • Lactate

  • Venous or arterial blood gases (for assessment of acid-base status)

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