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Aspiration pneumonia - Pulmonary
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Aspiration pneumonia - Pulmonary

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Contributors: Neil Mendoza MD, Keely Dwyer-Matzky MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Aspiration pneumonia is an infection of the lung parenchyma as a result of inhaled organisms from the oral cavity and nasopharynx with compromise in usual lower airway defenses or uncleared matter.

The infection is often polymicrobial, including oropharyngeal anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria, but gram-negative bacilli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Enterobacteriaceae are not uncommon, particularly in individuals exposed to a health care setting.

Typical bacterial aspiration pneumonia evolves with an indolent course over several days to weeks with foul-smelling sputum, low-grade fever, and malaise. Patients commonly have periodontal disease or some degree of underlying neurologic disease and may have associated weight loss and anemia. Hospital-acquired aspiration pneumonia may develop more rapidly based on bacterial organisms. Complications include necrotizing pneumonia, lung abscesses, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and empyema.

Predisposing conditions include dysphagia as it relates to neurologic or esophageal disorders, mechanical obstruction of glottic closure, impaired consciousness including resulting from alcohol and drug abuse, seizures, head trauma, and cerebrovascular accidents.

Aspiration pneumonia should be distinguished from chemical pneumonitis, which refers to the aspiration of toxins into the lower airways and is associated with abrupt onset of dyspnea, low-grade fever, hypoxemia, and diffuse crackles on lung exam within 8-24 hours of aspiration event.

Codes

ICD10CM:
J69.8 – Pneumonitis due to inhalation of other solids and liquids

SNOMEDCT:
422588002 – Aspiration pneumonia

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Last Reviewed: 03/01/2017
Last Updated: 09/30/2019
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Aspiration pneumonia - Pulmonary
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Aspiration pneumonia : Fever, Productive cough, Anorexia, Decreased cough reflex, Dysphagia, Dyspnea
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.