Postobstructive Pneumonia: An Underdescribed Syndrome

Michael S Abers, Barcleigh P Sandvall, Rahul Sampath, Carlo Zuno, Natalie Uy, Victor L Yu, Charles E Stager, Daniel M Musher
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2016 April 15, 62 (8): 957-61

BACKGROUND: Postobstructive community-acquired pneumonia (PO-CAP) is relatively common in clinical practice. The clinical syndrome is poorly defined, and the role of infection as a cause of the infiltrate is uncertain. We prospectively studied patients with PO-CAP and compared them to a cohort of patients with bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (B-CAP).

METHODS: We prospectively studied patients hospitalized for CAP; 5.4% had PO-CAP, defined as a pulmonary infiltrate occurring distal to an obstructed bronchus. Sputum and blood cultures, viral polymerase chain reaction, urinary antigen tests, and serum procalcitonin (PCT) were done in nearly all cases. Clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with PO-CAP were compared to those of patients with B-CAP.

RESULTS: In a 2-year period, we identified 30 patients with PO-CAP. Compared to patients with B-CAP, patients with PO-CAP had longer duration of symptoms (median, 14 vs 5 days;P< .001). Weight loss and cavitary lesions were more common (P< .01 for both comparisons) and leukocytosis was less common (P< .01) in patients with PO-CAP. A bacterial pathogen was implicated in only 3 (10%) PO-CAP cases. PCT was <0.25 ng/mL in 19 (63.3%) patients. Although no differences were observed in disease severity or rates of intensive care unit admissions, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in PO-CAP vs B-CAP (40.0% vs 11.7%;P< .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Although there is substantial overlap, PO-CAP is a clinical entity distinct from B-CAP; a bacterial cause was identified in only 10% of patients. Our study has important implications for the clinical recognition of patients with PO-CAP, the role of microorganisms as etiologic agents, and the use of antibiotic therapy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"