The yield of different pleural fluid volumes for Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture

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We prospectively compared the culture yields of two pleural fluid volumes (5 and 100 ml) inoculated in liquid culture medium in 77 patients of whom 58 (75.3%) were diagnosed with pleural tuberculosis. The overall fluid culture yield was high (60.3% of cases with pleural tuberculosis). The larger volume had a faster time to positivity (329 vs 376 h, p=0.055) but its yield was not significantly higher (53.5% vs 50%; p=0.75). HIV-positive patients were more likely to have positive cultures (78.9% vs 51.5%; p=0.002).

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