Sepsis pp 71-79 | Cite as

Fibrobronchoscopy as a Diagnostic Tool in Sepsis of Pulmonary Origin

  • Gustavo Adolfo Hincapie


Most patients with community-acquired pneumonia receive empiric antimicro­bial treatment without any intervention to look for the originating pathogen. However, community-acquired pneumonia is causing more than 500,000 hospi­talizations per year in the United States with a global mortality of 0.1%. The routine studies (hemoculture and sputum culture) have less sensitivity and, in fact, could generate confusion after being contaminated with nonpathogen germs in the upper airway. A similar situation occurs in hospitalized patients at inten­sive care units in which the appearance of new infiltrates should alert the physi­cian to look both for infectious diseases and for noninfectious ones, a differentiation that is not always easy to make. Patients’ characteristics, such as age, immune system function, and use of mechanical ventilation, are keys to determining the cause of the radiologic abnormality.2 When an infectious disease is suspected, it would be convenient to correlate it with a sample taken from the lower respiratory tract for microbiologic study with procedures whose advan­tages and disadvantages will be discussed below3,4 (Table 6.1).


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Bronchoalveolar Lavage Lower Respiratory Tract Respir Crit Nosocomial Pneumonia 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • Gustavo Adolfo Hincapie

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