Diagnosis

In otherwise heathy patients, the clinical presentation is sufficient for diagnosing cellulitis. The high likelihood of typical organisms and the low yield of isolation techniques make further efforts unwarranted. In patients with underlying disease or signs of bacteremia, blood cultures and leukocyte counts are indicated. Local means of isolating the organism are controversial, but in the case of a toxic-appearing patient, they may be worthwhile. Differentiating deep venous thrombosis from cellulitis in the lower extremities is often difficult and may require Doppler studies or venogram.

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