When are cultures indicated for the diagnosis of acute sinusitis?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Cultures are not routinely obtained in the evaluation of acute sinusitis but should be obtained in the following cases:

  • Patients in intensive care or with immunocompromise

  • Children not responding to appropriate medical management

  • Patients with complications of sinusitis

In adults, cultures are directed at the middle meatus. Aspiration of the sinus by direct antral puncture is the only accurate way to obtain a culture but is reserved for patients with any of the following:

  • Life-threatening illness

  • Immunocompromise

  • Disease unresponsive to therapy

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