The severity of neutropenia and the degree of anemia or thrombocytopenia can be established with a full blood count. CD4 lymphocyte counts may be useful in assessing the risk of opportunistic infections. Blood cultures and cultures from presumed sites of infection (e.g. urine, stool, and sputum) are essential before the commencement of antimicrobial therapy. It may be necessary to repeat these cultures to improve the likelihood of recovering fastidious organisms. Chest radiography should be performed routinely and sinus radiography may be useful. CT may be of value in the assessment of infection of the lungs and the brain. If the patient has any central nervous system signs and symptoms, a lumbar puncture should be performed urgently provided that there is no evidence of raised intracranial pressure.
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