What is the sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the diagnosis of cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The sensitivity of PCR with samples of lymph node tissue or aspirates is 30-60% for CSD. If histologic and serologic tests are coupled with PCR analysis, the sensitivity increases to 87%. A 2-step approach (initial testing by PCR/citrate synthase (CS) assay followed by PCR/rRNA assay for PCR/CS-negative specimens) has been suggested for patients in whom CSD is strongly suspected. [13] PCR assays are available in some research and commercial laboratories.


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