Send to

Choose Destination
Indian J Pediatr. 1998 Jan-Feb;65(1):79-84.

Endotracheal aspirate cultures in predicting sepsis in ventilated neonates.

Author information

University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Pediatrics, 60612-7324, USA.


Nosocomial infections are the most common complications encountered in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They are associated with high mortality and prolonged duration of hospitalization in the survivors, contributing to an increased cost of health care. In this article, we review the literature on the value of routine endotracheal aspirate cultures for the prediction of neonatal sepsis and provide guidelines to prevent nosocomial infections. Upon reviewing the literature it appears that the practice of routine cultures of endotracheal aspirate and cultures obtained from multiple body sites is an expensive proposition with low yield. The sensitivity of this test is at best 50% and all studies report a very low positive predictive value. The specificity of this test is 80%, hence its role is mainly limited to identifying infants who are at low risk for sepsis. As we do not have any reliable test for early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis and also to identify infants at high risk for sepsis, our main emphasis should be towards preventing nosocomial infections. Guidelines for reducing nosocomial infections are described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center