Korean J Lab Med.  2011 Apr;31(2):101-106. 10.3343/kjlm.2011.31.2.101.

Comprehensive Analysis of Blood Culture Performed at Nine University Hospitals in Korea

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea. sjkim8239@hanmail.net
  • 6Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 7Department of Laboratory Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 8Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 9Department of Laboratory Medicine, Wonkwang University Medical School, Iksan, Korea.


Optimal blood culture performance is critical for successful diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. To understand the status of blood culture, we investigated several aspects of the procedure at 9 university hospitals.
The process of ordering blood culture sets and sampling volume for adults and children was investigated from January 2010 to April 2010, while the positive rate of detection and growth of skin contaminants were compared in 2009. Microbial growth in aerobic and anaerobic bottles was investigated prospectively.
A majority of the hospitals used 2 sets of bottles for adults and 1 bottle for children. The average blood volume in each set was 7.7 mL for adults and 2.1 mL for children. The positive rate of microorganisms was 8.0%, and the isolation rate of the normal flora of the skin was 2.1%. Bacterial growth rates in aerobic and anaerobic bottles only were 31.8% and 24.5% respectively.
Ordering blood culture sets and sampling volumes did not comply with CLSI guidelines. However, the rate of positive cultures and skin contamination rates were acceptable. Anaerobic bottles are useful in enhancing the yield of microorganisms.


Sepsis; Blood culture; Skin contamination; Disinfection
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