Fast Five Quiz: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


November 08, 2022

RSV and bronchiolitis are clinical diagnoses that do not necessarily require further testing. Laboratory testing is only indicated in circumstances where results may influence medical decision-making. Blood cultures, although frequently obtained, are rarely positive for pathogenic bacteria in patients with RSV. If laboratory diagnosis is needed, rapid antigen testing and polymerase chain reaction–based testing are available. Although antigen testing is more easily accessible and specific, its sensitivity is only about 80% during RSV outbreaks. Chest radiography is often obtained in patients with severe RSV infection, but typical findings are not specific to RSV infection or predictive of the course or outcome.

Learn more about the workup of RSV.


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