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Complications due to Pneumonia

Pneumonia is defined as a syndrome caused by acute infection usually bacteria, characterized by clinical and or radiographic sign of consolidation of a part or parts of one or both lungs.

It can be caused by different microorganisms, that is, bacterial which also includes mycobacterial tuberculosis or non-bacterial which includes viral, rickettsia-like, fungal and actinomycotic, parasitic, chemical, physical ie ionizing radiation.

Complications of Pneumonia

Potential pathogens reach the lungs to cause pneumonia chiefly by aspiration or microaspirations, inhalation, colonization, blood spread.

Complications of pneumonia

Any system or parts of the body of a human being can be affected by the above-mentioned pathogens. The different types of complications include:

Thoracic and Extrathoracic Complications:

  • Lung functioning related
    • Respiratory distress
    • Pulmonary failure including adult respiratory distress syndrome
    • Death
    • Acute asthma exacerbation
  • Pulmonary parenchyma related
    • Necrotizing pneumonitis
    • Pulmonary abscess
    • Pneumatocele
    • Lung cavitation, fibrosis, and bronchiolitis obliterans
    • Granuloma formation
    • Diffuse hyperlucent lung
  • Pleural space related
    • Pleural effusion with or without loculations
    • Empyema
    • Pneumothoraces
    • Pyothorax
    • Tension pneumothorax with diminished cardiac output

Hematological Complications: They include positive Coombs test and increased reticulocyte count, may lead to blood transfusion, a raynauds phenomenon with digital necrosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, and DIC.

Neurological Complications: They include meningoencephalitis, cerebellar ataxia, brainstem dysfunction, transverse myelitis, Guillain Barre syndrome, cranial neuritis, peripheral neuropathies with a seizure disorder.

Immunity Related Complication: They include complex related interstitial nephritis or glomerulonephritis may occur.

Cardiac Related Complications: They include pericarditis, myocarditis, conduction defects, dysrhythmias,  heart failure, and endocarditis.

Dermatological Complications: They include Cutaneous lesion i.e transient rashes, erythema multiforme sometimes as Stevens-Johnsons syndrome, erythema nodosum, transient maculopapular erythematous rashes or urticaria.

Gastrointestinal Complications: Gastrointestinal transient diarrhea, anicteric hepatitis, acute pancreatitis, , peritonitis. Direct extension of infection from the pharynx to the tympanic membrane via the eustachian tube may cause bullous myringitis.