What is the role of Gram stain in the workup of urethritis?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Traditionally, treatment was based on Gram stain results. Patients with gram-negative intracellular diplococci on urethral smear received treatment for gonococcal urethritis, and those without gram-negative intracellular diplococci received treatment for nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). Because current recommendations suggest concomitant treatment for both, and with the success of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), a Gram stain may be unnecessary.

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