Cerebrospinal Fluid Enrichment Broth Cultures Rarely Contribute to the Diagnosis of Bacterial Meningitis

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This study included children undergoing lumbar puncture in the emergency department. Bacteria were isolated from 34 (1.7%) of 1898 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enrichment broth cultures; 30 were contaminants. The primary CSF Gram stain was negative in all specimens with a positive enrichment broth culture. Enrichment broth cultures rarely contributed to the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, and positive CSF enrichment broth cultures contributed to diagnostic uncertainty.

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