What is the role of tissue cultures in the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: Steven A Schulz, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Skin and superficial tissue cultures may be inaccurate because samples may not contain the infected tissue. Deeper tissue samples, obtained at the time of surgical debridement, are needed to obtain proper cultures for microorganisms. (See Biopsy, below.) New techniques include rapid streptococcal diagnostic kits and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for tissue specimens that tests for the genes for streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin (SPE; eg, SPE-B) produced by group A streptococci.


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