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J R Soc Med. 1990 October; 83(10): 625–626.
PMCID: PMC1292854

Use of bacteriology in anorectal sepsis as an indicator of anal fistula: experience in a distinct general hospital.


The bacteriology of anorectal sepsis in a district general hospital has been reviewed to see whether the information gained helped patient management. Forty-six patients with anorectal sepsis were reviewed, underlying fistulas were identified in nine patients (19.5%). Bacteroides species were not routinely subtyped in the department. It was found that isolation of unspecified Bacteroides species was not helpful in identifying those patients with underlying fistulas. Unless subtyping of Bacteroides species is specifically requested, pus from anorectal sepsis should not routinely be sent for bacteriology.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Whitehead SM, Leach RD, Eykyn SJ, Phillips I. The aetiology of perirectal sepsis. Br J Surg. 1982 Mar;69(3):166–168. [PubMed]
  • Buchan R, Grace RH. Anorectal suppuration: the results of treatment and the factors influencing the recurrence rate. Br J Surg. 1973 Jul;60(7):537–540. [PubMed]
  • PARKS AG. Pathogenesis and treatment of fistuila-in-ano. Br Med J. 1961 Feb 18;1(5224):463–469. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Meislin HW, Lerner SA, Graves MH, McGehee MD, Kocka FE, Morello JA, Rosen P. Cutaneous abscesses. Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriology and outpatient management. Ann Intern Med. 1977 Aug;87(2):145–149. [PubMed]
  • Moore WE, Cato EP, Holdeman LV. Anaerobic bacteria of the gastrointestinal flora and their occurrence in clinical infections. J Infect Dis. 1969 Jun;119(6):641–649. [PubMed]

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