The incidence of necrotizing changes in adults with pneumococcal pneumonia

Anupam Pande, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Necrotizing pneumonia is generally considered a rare complication of pneumococcal pneumonia in adults. We systematically studied the incidence of necrotizing changes in adult patients with pneumococcal pneumonia, and examined the severity of infection, the role of causative serotype and the association with bacteremia. Methods. We used a data base of all pneumococcal infections identified at our medical center between 2000 and 2010. Original readings of chest X-rays (CXR) and computerized tomography (CT) were noted. All images were then reread independently by 2 radiologists. The severity of disease was assessed using the SMART-COP scoring system. Results. There were 351 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia. Necrosis was reported in no original CXR readings and 6 of 136 (4.4%) CTs. With re-reading, 8 of 351 (2.3%) CXR and 15 of 136 (11.0%) CT had necrotizing changes. Overall, these changes were found in 23 of 351 (6.6%, 95% CI 4.0 - 9.1) patients. The incidence of bacteremia and the admitting SMART-COP scores were similar in patients with and without necrosis (P=1.00 and P=0.32, respectively). Type 3 pneumococcus was more commonly isolated from patients with than from patients without necrotizing pneumonia (P=0.05), but a total of 10 serotypes were identified among 16 cases in which the organism was available for typing. Conclusions. Necrotizing changes in the lungs were seen in 6.6% (95% CI 4.0 - 9.1) of a large series of adults with pneumococcal pneumonia. Patients with necrosis were not more likely to have bacteremia or more severe disease. Type 3 pneumococcus was commonly implicated, but 9 other serotypes were also identified.

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Recommended Citation

Pande, Anupam, "The incidence of necrotizing changes in adults with pneumococcal pneumonia" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497692.