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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 133-135
Brief Report

Diagnosis of Cellulitis in the Immunocompromised Host

Charles F Carey and Lawrence Dall

Section of Infectious Diseases, Truman Medical Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Received 8 June 1990; Accepted 14 August 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.


A prospective study of diagnostic techniques in cellulitis was performed on 28 patients with malignancy. Twenty-two (78%) of the fine needle aspiration cultures and 10 (35%) of the blood cultures were positive in this immunocompromised population. The incidence of positive fine needle aspiration cultures (P<0.005) or bacteremia (P<0.0005) was significantly higher than results obtained in an immunocompetent population with cellulitis at the same institution. Staphylococci or streptococci were recovered in 59% of positive cultures, while aerobic Gram-negative bacilli grew in 33%. This study indicates that in the immunocompromised population with cellulitis, fine needle aspiration and blood cultures should be obtained, and the antibiotic regimen should cover Gram-positive cocci and Gram-negative bacilli pending the results of cultures.