How is aspiration pneumonia diagnosed?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Answer

Clinicians must consider the diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia when a patient presents with risk factors and radiographic evidence of an infiltrate suggestive of aspiration pneumonia (see Predisposing Conditions for Aspiration Pneumonia). The location of the infiltrate on chest radiograph depends on the position of the patient when the aspiration occurred and is discussed further in the Chest Radiography section.

The laboratory studies obtained should be guided by the patient’s clinical presentation (see Presentation of Aspiration Pneumonia). Patients with signs or symptoms of sepsis or septic shock require further laboratory testing than those with uncomplicated aspiration syndromes.


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