What is the role of cultures in the workup of relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Cultures may be indicated, depending on the clinical presentation, as follows:

  • Sputum cultures for bacteria and acid-fast bacilli may be needed in patients with respiratory symptoms.
  • Bacterial, acid-fast bacilli, and fungal cultures may be appropriate for cartilage biopsy samples, especially from the respiratory tree.
  • Blood cultures may be useful in the assessment of febrile episodes that are combined with nausea, vertigo, and/or muscle weakness.
  • Bacterial and viral cultures of the cerebrospinal fluid may be indicated to exclude meningitis or to help exclude aseptic meningitis or CNS vasculitis.

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