Which blood tests are indicated in the workup of epiglottitis?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Blood cultures may be taken, particularly if the patient is systemically unwell. The cultures are positive in approximately 25% of adult cases. Given the relatively large number of infectious agents besides H influenzae type b and Streptococcus species that may cause adult epiglottitis, blood culture and sensitivities may be particularly helpful in this population.

In adults with acute epiglottitis, blood cultures for Haemophilus influenzae are positive in about 25% of cases. In remaining adult cases, H parainfluenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and group A streptococci are frequently isolated from pharyngeal cultures.

If the airway is secure, epiglottic cultures may be performed. Some authors have described successful aspiration of epiglottic abscesses via spinal needle. [25]

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