Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Diagnostic validity of three swab techniques for identifying chronic wound infection.

Gardner SE, Frantz RA, Saltzman CL, Hillis SL, Park H, Scherubel M. Diagnostic validity of three swab techniques for identifying chronic wound infection. Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society. 2006 Sep 1; 14(5):548-57.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

This study examined the diagnostic validity of three different swab techniques in identifying chronic wound infection. Concurrent swab specimens of chronic wounds were obtained using wound exudate, the Z-technique, and the Levine technique, along with a specimen of viable wound tissue. Swab and tissue specimens were cultured using quantitative and qualitative laboratory procedures. Infected wounds were defined as those containing 1 x 10(6) or more organisms per gram of tissue. Accuracy was determined by associating the quantitative cultures of swab specimens with the cultures from tissue specimens using receiver operating characteristic curves. Of the 83 study wounds, 30 (36%) were infected. Accuracy was the highest for swab specimens obtained using Levine's technique at 0.80. Based on Levine's technique, a critical threshold of 37,000 organisms per swab provided a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 57%. The mean concordance between swab specimens obtained using Levine's technique and tissue specimens was 78%. The findings suggest that swab specimens collected using Levine's technique provide a reasonably accurate measure of wound bioburden, given that they are more widely applicable than tissue cultures. The diagnostic validity of Levine's technique needs further study using an alternative reference standard, such as the development of infection-related complications.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.