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Aerobic and Anaerobic Microbiology of Superficial Suppurative Thrombophlebitis

Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Edith H. Frazier, MSc
Arch Surg. 1996;131(1):95-97. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430130097021.
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Objective:  To study the aerobic and anaerobic microbiologic characteristics of superficial suppurative thrombophlebitis.

Design:  Retrospective review of microbiologic and clinical data.

Setting:  Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Md.

Results:  Sixty-one isolates, 36 aerobic and 25 anaerobic, were isolated from samples obtained from 42 patients. Aerobic bacteria only were found in 26 (62%) patients; anaerobic only, in 11 (26%); and mixed aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, in five (12%). The predominant aerobic bacteria were Staphylococcus aureus (n=9), Escherichia coli (n=7), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=4), and Klebsiella sp (n=3). The most frequently recovered anaerobic bacteria were Peptostreptococcus sp (n=8), Propionibacterium acnes (n=6), Bacteroides fragilis group (n=5), Prevotella intermedia (n=3), and Fusobacterium nucleatum (n=3). Propionibacterium acnes and Peptostreptococcus sp were associated with cannula-related superficial suppurative thrombophlebitis; B fragilis and Enterobacteriaceae, with abdominal surgery or pathology; and S aureus and P aeruginosa and Citrobacter sp, with burns.

Conclusion:  These data illustrate the importance of anaerobic bacteria in superficial suppurative thrombophlebitis.(Arch Surg. 1996;131:95-97)


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