American Journal of Medical Case Reports
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American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2021, 9(1), 45-52
DOI: 10.12691/ajmcr-9-1-12
Open AccessArticle

Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Focused Review

Javier H. Ticona1, Victoria M. Zaccone1 and Isabel M. McFarlane1,

1Department of Internal Medicine, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203 USA

Pub. Date: November 04, 2020

Cite this paper:
Javier H. Ticona, Victoria M. Zaccone and Isabel M. McFarlane. Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Focused Review. American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2021; 9(1):45-52. doi: 10.12691/ajmcr-9-1-12


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common cause for admission to the hospital and contributes significantly to patient morbidity and healthcare cost. We present a review of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, presentations, risk-stratification, markers, and management of CAP in the United States (US). The overall incidence of CAP is 16 to 23 cases per 1000 persons per year, and the rate increases with age. Some of the risk factors for CAP include comorbidities such as, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and heart failure. CAP symptoms vary, and typically include productive cough, dyspnea, pleuritic pain, abnormal vital signs (e.g., fever, tachycardia), and abnormal lung examination findings. A diagnosis can be made by radiography, which has the additional benefit of helping to identify patterns associated with typical and atypical CAP. There are risk-stratification calculators that can be used routinely by physicians to triage patients, and to determine adequate management. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) developed the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) which incorporates 20 risk factors to place patients into 5 classes correlated with mortality risk. In addition, the British Thoracic Society (BTS) established the original severity score CURB (confusion, uremia, respiratory rate, low blood pressure) to identify patients with CAP who may be candidates for outpatient vs. inpatient treatment. Inflammatory markers, such as procalcitonin (PCT), can be used to guide management throughout hospital stay. Antibiotic coverage will vary depending on whether outpatient vs. inpatient management is required.

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) atypical pneumonia typical pneumonia procalcitonin pneumonia severity index CURB

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