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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 1 (1990), Issue 1, Pages 7-10
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/1990/159215
Original Article

Rapid Diagnosis of Bacteremia in Adults Using Acridine Orange Stained Buffy Coat Smears

Mark Miller1,2 and Jack Mendelson1

1Department of Microbiology, McGill University, Canada
2Division of Infectious Diseases (Department of Medicine), Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Received 20 December 1989; Accepted 2 March 1990

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The use of acridine orange stained buffy coat smears was assessed as a rapid screening test for bacteremia in adults. A total of 356 consecutive blood cultures were submitted with simultaneous anticoagulated blood samples, from which a buffy coat smear was prepared and stained with acridine orange (100 mg/L; pH 3.0). Forty-one of 356 blood samples (12%) yielded organisms in the blood culture system. Compared to blood culture, the overall sensitivity of acridine orange stained buffy coat smears was 16%, specificity 88%, and positive predictive value 13%. There was no statistically significant difference in performance of the test among patients who had fever greater than 39°C and/or shock. The low sensitivity and specificity of the test makes it unsuitable as a means of rapid screening for adults with suspected bacteremia.