Diagnosis of Pneumonia

In this article, we will discuss about the Diagnosis of Pneumonia. So, let’s get started.

Diagnosis

Chest x-ray is helpful in confirming the presence and location of pulmonary infiltrates. Most pathogens produce focal lesions except for P.carinii which produces diffuse lesions. X-ray (chest) helps in determining the extent of lung involvement, pleural involvement, adjoining lymphadenopathy (hilar lymphadenopathy), and pulmonary cavitation. Usually chest x-ray shows reticular pattern in mycoplasma infection, and homogenous localised opacity and air bronchogram in S.pneumoniae infection.

Sputum examination helps to determine the pathogen responsible for causing the infection, it still remains the mainstay of the diagnosis of pneumonia. but its specificity and sensitivity has been decreased because the sample easily gets contaminated during expectoration with bacteria that colonise the upper respiratory tract.

Blood test revealing increased TLC, DLC, and ESR suggests an evidence of infection.

Other tests includes serological tests such as indirect immunoflurescence test, PCR, indirect fluorescent test, and microimmunofluorescence test, examining pleural aspiration (if empyema is the clinical consideration), and pleural fluid culture.

ECG shows myocarditis in C.burnetti infection.

Invasive diagnostic procedures includes transtracheal aspiration, percutaneous transthoracic lung puncture and aspiration, open lung biopsy, and Fibreoptic bronchoscopy.

Biomarkers of inflammation such as CRP, and procalcitonin increases during acute phase of infection.

Arterial blood gas or oxygen saturation evaluation also helps in the diagnosis of pneumonia.

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