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Researchers are recommending that physicians who suspect that a patient has acute septic arthritis (SA) begin treatment even without bacterial proof, according to an online study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (April 2003). Researchers at the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scot-land, investigated whether patients diagnosed with SA by positive synovial fluid (SF) culture (Newman grade A) have different clinical and serological features, compared with those with sterile SF but a high suspicion of SA (Newman grades B and C). The researchers found that the patient demographics and clinical and laboratory features at the outset were similar. In addition, the clinicians found that both medical and surgical treatment and outcome were comparable among the 2 groups.