Tracheal Aspirate as a Substrate for Polymerase Chain Reaction Detection of Viral Genome in Childhood Pneumonia and Myocarditis

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Abstract

Background

Infectious respiratory disorders are important causes of childhood morbidity and mortality. Viral causes are common and may lead to rapid deterioration, requiring mechanical ventilation; myocardial dysfunction may accompany respiratory decompensation. The etiologic viral diagnosis may be difficult with classic methods. The purpose of this study was to evaluate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a diagnostic method for identification of causative agents.

Conclusions

PCR is a rapid and sensitive diagnostic tool in cases of viral pneumonia with or without myocarditis, and tracheal aspirate appears to be excellent for analysis. (Circulation. 1999;99:2011-2018.)

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