Atypical Pneumonia in the ICU
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Severe pulmonary infections with respiratory failure are a common feature in the ICU either as a primary reason for admission or as a complication. In many cases bacterial causes can readily be identified. When Gram stains of pulmonary secretions reveal many leukocytes without bacteria the presence of atypical pneumonia should be considered. This rather outdated but common term is used for pulmonary infiltrative infections caused by Legionella pneumophila, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Coxiella burneti, (para)influenza virus, adenovirus and several other micro-organisms. Not much is known about the incidence of atypical pneumonias in the ICU. Sporadic cases of atypical pneumonia are not rare and may give rise to such severe complications that intensive treatment is necessary. They usually cause diagnostic confusion and initial therapeutic anxiety also because extrapulmonary manifestation may be the most impressive presenting symptoms. In the following, infections due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Legionella Pneumophilia will be briefly discussed.
KeywordsAcute Pancreatitis Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Atypical Pneumonia Mycoplasma Pneumonia
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