The Pneumonias pp 156-198 | Cite as

Presentation of Pneumonia

  • Monroe Karetzky


The sensation of shortness of breath—dyspnea, or breathlessness—characterized by tachypnea and variable degrees of hypoxemia and hypocapnea is a characteristic clinical phenomenon of pneumonia and occurs even in the absence of pleuritic pain or fever. The alveolar hyperventilation reflected by the hypocapnia has been found to persist in patients with lobar pneumonia even after arterial hypoxemia is eliminated with oxygen therapy. A process of elimination can be observed in the long-standing efforts to attribute the sensation of breathlessness to objective criteria. Classic breath-holding studies have shown dyspnea to be alleviated by a rebreathing maneuver or with inspiration of oxygen and carbon dioxide gas mixtures that resulted in no improvement in either arterial hypoxemia or the associated respiratory acidosis. Thus linkage to chemoreceptor activity has been largely unsuccessful.


Pleural Effusion Pleural Fluid Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Parietal Pleura Lung Abscess 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Monroe Karetzky

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