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Volume 46, Number 1, February 2013

Evaluation of the blood volume effect on the diagnosis of bacteremia in automated blood culture systems 

Hsiu-Hsien Lin, Yen-Fang Liu, Ni Tien, Cheng-Mao Ho, Ling-Nu Hsu, Jang-Jih Lu

Received: July 4, 2011    Revised: September 19, 2011    Accepted: October 11, 2011   


Corresponding author:

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, 5 Fu-Hsin Street, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan.


Background and purpose: 

Blood culture volume is the most important variable in detecting bacteremia and fungemia. However, the majority of hospitals in Taiwan do not meet the criteria for an ideal blood culture volume (8–10 mL per bottle, two bottles per set) during collection.



The object of this study is to initiate an educational program for healthcare workers to increase blood volume collection and to evaluate the relationship between blood volumes and bacteremia recovery rate for detecting bacteremia and fungemia effectively by using the BD BACTEC 9240 blood culture system.




After education, the blood sample volume ≥5 mL group increased from 2.93% to 71.24%. For a total of 4,844 bottles, the relative improvement in recovery rate for detection has increased by 17.81% between the <5 mL group and the ≥5 mL group. The recovery rates for the low-volume (<3 mL), mid-volume (3–7 mL), high-volume (8–10 mL) and extreme high-volume (>10 mL) groups are 13.31%, 15.02%, 17.68%, and 14.96%, respectively.




With good blood collection practice, our study found that blood volume obtained was in direct proportion to recovery rate for the detection of bacteremia and fungemia.


Key words:

Automated blood cultureBlood culture volumeRecovery rate