What is the role of blood cultures in the diagnosis of septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 19, 2017
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Obtain at least 2 sets of blood cultures to rule out a bacteremic origin of the septic joint.

In the setting of possible gonococcal infection, obtaining cultures from the patient's rectum, cervix, urethra, and pharynx and from any skin lesions is most helpful. Immediate plating of the joint fluid directly onto appropriate media and/or rapid delivery of the specimen to the laboratory for appropriate plating and culturing are of benefit in improving the relatively low yield. [25]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!