Journal Article

Reappraisal of Lung Tap: Review of an Old Method for Better Etiologic Diagnosis of Childhood Pneumonia

Elina Vuori-Holopainen and Heikki Peltola

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 32, issue 5, pages 715-726
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/319213
Reappraisal of Lung Tap: Review of an Old Method for Better Etiologic Diagnosis of Childhood Pneumonia

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Identification of the etiology of childhood pneumonia is difficult, even in the cases that most likely have bacterial origins. A positive blood culture result is diagnostic but rare (<10% of cases), and other noninvasive microbiological methods are nonspecific or are at least shadowed by interpretation problems. However, lung tap (or aspiration), a method developed a century ago, warrants reappraisal, especially since the prevalence of pneumococcal resistance to penicillin is increasing. An analysis of 59 studies that were published in 6 languages led us to conclude that (1) bacterial etiology is disclosed in ∼50% of cases (virological tests were rarely done); (2) lung tap is safer than is generally considered; (3) potential pneumothorax is mostly symptomless and resolves spontaneously without impairing recovery; and (4) in comparison with routine diagnostic tools, lung tap offers so many advantages that it warrants reconsideration at centers where personnel have experience in handling potential pneumothorax.

Journal Article.  6496 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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