The chest radiograph in legionnaires' disease

P A Dietrich, R D Johnson, J T Fairbank, J S Walke
Radiology 1978, 127 (3): 577-82
The chest radiographs of 24 patients with documented Legionnaires' disease were evaluated. Twenty-two of the 24 patients had positive findings for the disease initially. There was unilateral involvement in 68% and the most common lung shadows were poorly marginated round opacities (46%), diffuse patchy (25%) and peripheral opacities (21%). At peak, 70% of patients had a lobar shadow. Pleural effusions were present in 39% of cases but could be explained by underlying congestive heart failure or renal failure in 7 of the 9. Although the findings are not specific, the radiologist should consider this diagnosis in a patient with compatible clinical history, a pneumonia of obscure etiology, and these radiographic manifestations.

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