Journal Article

Etiological Diagnosis of Childhood Pneumonia by Use of Transthoracic Needle Aspiration and Modern Microbiological Methods

Elina Vuori-Holopainen, Eeva Salo, Harri Saxén, Klaus Hedman, Timo Hyypiä, Raija Lahdenperä, Maija Leinonen, Eveliina Tarkka, Martti Vaara and Heikki Peltola

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 5, pages 583-590
Published in print March 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/338642
Etiological Diagnosis of Childhood Pneumonia by Use of Transthoracic Needle Aspiration and Modern Microbiological Methods

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Childhood pneumonia is usually treated without determining its etiology. The causative organism can be isolated from specimens of blood, empyema fluid, or lung aspirate, but this is rarely done. The potential of transthoracic needle aspiration for identification of causative agents was tested with use of modern microbiological methods. Aspiration was performed for 34 children who had radiological signs compatible with community-acquired pneumonia and had alveolar consolidation. In addition to bacterial and viral cultures and viral antigen detection, nucleic acid detection for common respiratory pathogens was performed on aspirate specimens. Aspiration disclosed the etiology in 20 (59%) of 34 cases overall and in 18 (69%) of 26 patients from whom a representative specimen was obtained. Aspiration's advantages are high microbiological yield and a relatively low risk of a clinically significant adverse event. Aspiration should be used if identification of the causative agent outweighs the modest risk of the procedure.

Journal Article.  4549 words.  Illustrated.

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

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