diagnosis

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Clinical findings can be unreliable and are often non-existent.

Haematology reveals:

  • leucocytosis
  • raised ESR

Sputum culture:

  • send for Gram stain
  • culture for aerobic and anaerobic organisms
  • determine antibiotic sensitivity
  • examine for acid fast bacilli

Chest radiography:

  • may reveal one or more circular lesions of almost any size which may cavitate and show fluid levels

Chest ultrasound:

  • can identify a fluid collection
  • occasionally, aspiration of the abscess is possible

Fibre-optic bronchoscopy:

  • permits sampling for bacteriology and for histological diagnosis of any lesions, e.g. neoplasms or foreign bodies

Last reviewed 01/2018

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