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Diagnostic approach to community-acquired pneumonia in adults

INTRODUCTION

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is defined as an acute infection of the pulmonary parenchyma in a patient who has acquired the infection in the community, as distinguished from hospital-acquired (nosocomial) pneumonia. A third category of pneumonia, designated "healthcare-associated pneumonia," is acquired in other healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, dialysis centers, and outpatient clinics or within 90 days of discharge from an acute or chronic care facility. (See "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, microbiology, and diagnosis of hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and healthcare-associated pneumonia in adults".)

CAP is a common and potentially serious illness. It is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, particularly in older adult patients and those with significant comorbidities [1]. (See "Prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia in adults".)

The diagnostic approach to CAP in immunocompetent adults will be reviewed here. A variety of other important issues related to CAP are discussed separately. These include:

The epidemiology and microbiology of CAP (see "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and microbiology of community-acquired pneumonia in adults")

The use of sputum cultures for the evaluation of bacterial pneumonia (see "Sputum cultures for the evaluation of bacterial pneumonia")

                           

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Literature review current through: Aug 2014. | This topic last updated: Sep 17, 2014.
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