How often do cultures of pleural fluid yield positive results in the workup for pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Cultures of infected pleural fluids yield positive results in approximately 60% of cases. This occurs even less often for anaerobic organisms. Diagnostic yields, particularly for anaerobic pathogens, may be increased by directly culturing pleural fluid into blood culture bottles. [31]

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