Comparison of Quantitative Microbiology and Histopathology in Divided Burn-Wound Biopsy Specimens

Albert T. Mcmanus, Seung H. Kim, William F. Mcmanus, Arthur D. Mason, Basil A. Pruitt

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Abstract

We examined the association between quantitative microbiologic results and histopathologic findings in divided biopsy specimens from 200 burned patients. Microbiologic counts were determined as log10 colony-forming units per gram of disrupted tissue. Histopathologic results were scored on a scale of 1 to 6, values of 4 or greater indicating microbial invasion of viable tissue. Agreement of 96.1% was found between negative cultures, arbitrarily identified as those with fewer than 5 logs/g, and histologic absence of invasive infection. In sharp contrast, however, histologic invasion occurred in only 36% of specimens with positive cultures. Though low tissue counts are essentially synonymous with negative histologic findings, quantitative microbiology is not a diagnostic substitute for histologic examination, since high tissue counts quite commonly do not indicate invasion. The principal value of quantitative burn-wound biopsies is the demonstration of predominant burn-wound flora.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-76
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Surgery
Volume122
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1987

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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