What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of middle ear and eustachian inflammation/infections?

Updated: May 01, 2020
  • Author: Robert B Meek, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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  • Lab studies are seldom necessary unless the patient is being evaluated for a complication of otitis media (OM).

    • In rare instances, tympanocentesis is performed, the specimen is cultured, and sensitivity tests are performed. These instances include refractory cases of acute otitis media (AOM), neonates with severe otitis media (OM), immunocompromised patients, and very ill children with otitis media (OM).

    • A CBC count may be useful in a patient who appears toxic, and a lumbar puncture is useful if concerns of meningitis secondary to otitis media (OM) have arisen.

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