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J Lab Physicians. 2012 Jul;4(2):89-93. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.105588.

Comparison of the lysis centrifugation method with the conventional blood culture method in cases of sepsis in a tertiary care hospital.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, L. T. M. Medical College, Sion, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



Physicians and microbiologists have long recognized that the presence of living microorganisms in the blood of a patient carries with it considerable morbidity and mortality. Hence, blood cultures have become critically important and frequently performed test in clinical microbiology laboratories for diagnosis of sepsis.


To compare the conventional blood culture method with the lysis centrifugation method in cases of sepsis.


Two hundred nonduplicate blood cultures from cases of sepsis were analyzed using two blood culture methods concurrently for recovery of bacteria from patients diagnosed clinically with sepsis - the conventional blood culture method using trypticase soy broth and the lysis centrifugation method using saponin by centrifuging at 3000 g for 30 minutes.


Overall bacteria recovered from 200 blood cultures were 17.5%. The conventional blood culture method had a higher yield of organisms, especially Gram positive cocci. The lysis centrifugation method was comparable with the former method with respect to Gram negative bacilli. The sensitivity of lysis centrifugation method in comparison to conventional blood culture method was 49.75% in this study, specificity was 98.21% and diagnostic accuracy was 89.5%. In almost every instance, the time required for detection of the growth was earlier by lysis centrifugation method, which was statistically significant. Contamination by lysis centrifugation was minimal, while that by conventional method was high. Time to growth by the lysis centrifugation method was highly significant (P value 0.000) as compared to time to growth by the conventional blood culture method.


For the diagnosis of sepsis, combination of the lysis centrifugation method and the conventional blood culture method with trypticase soy broth or biphasic media is advocable, in order to achieve faster recovery and a better yield of microorganisms.


Blood culture; lysis centrifugation; saponin

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