Needle aspiration for diagnosis of cellulitis

Cutis. 1985 Jul;36(1):63-4.


Diagnosing the causative agent of bacterial cellulitis is difficult. Blood culturing and needle aspiration have been used: the former has an extremely low sensitivity, the yield of the latter ranges from 4 to 42 percent. A retrospective study was conducted to determine the diagnostic success of needle aspiration and culture of the leading edge of cellulitis with a 21 to 22 gauge syringe and conventional bacteriologic culture of blood in determining the agent that causes acute cellulitis. This agent was determined in 33 percent of patients by needle aspiration and in 4 percent using blood cultures.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / pathology
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cellulitis / pathology*
  • Connective Tissue / pathology
  • Humans