Last reviewed 01/2018

Aspiration of infective material is the most common cause of a lung abscess.

It is most common in situations in which the cough reflexes are depressed - for example:

  • acute alcoholism
  • coma
  • anaesthesia
  • sinusitis
  • oral or pharyngeal sepsis
  • debilitation

The aspiration of gastric contents is particularly severe as it introduces acid in addition to organisms from the mouth.