Which lab tests are performed in the workup of deep neck infections?

Updated: Apr 30, 2020
  • Author: Alan D Murray, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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See the list below:

  • A high index of suspicion is important when diagnosing a deep neck space infection. A careful history and physical examination (see Clinical) are critical to the workup. In addition, tests, including the following, may be useful in the workup of a patient in whom a deep neck space infection is suspected:

    • Blood chemistries

    • Complete blood cell count

    • Clotting profile (particularly important in patients who require surgical drainage)

    • Blood cultures (may be indicated in septic patients)

    • Abscess cultures with Gram stains (critical to direct antimicrobial therapy)

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