The multitude of studies on the diagnosis of pneumonia published in the past year testifies to the fact that the best diagnostic strategy remains undefined. For community-acquired pneumonia, the etiologic agent can be diagnosed in a high percentage of patients if extensive serologic testing is used. Unfortunately, standard diagnostic tools, including blood cultures, have a low yield. Newer diagnostic techniques offer some hope for an etiologic diagnosis at a time when therapeutic decisions can be made. For nosocomial pneumonia in the nonventilated patient, transthoracic needle aspiration appears to have good accuracy with a low complication rate. For ventilator-associated pneumonia, research on diagnostic methods has yielded important insights into the disease process itself. Unfortunately, consensus regarding the most appropriate diagnostic tool has not been achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine