Advances in the causes and management of community acquired pneumonia in adults: State of the Art Review

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Community acquired pneumonia remains a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Usually, the causal organism is not identified and treatment remains empiric. Recent computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging studies have challenged the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, and epidemiologic studies are changing our perspective of what causes community acquired pneumonia, especially the role of viral pathogens and the frequent finding of multiple pathogens. The past decade has seen increasing overuse of empiric coverage of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and antibiotic resistant Gram negative pathogens owing to inappropriate application of guidelines for healthcare associated pneumonia. Optimal treatment remains a matter for debate, especially in very sick patients, including the role of combination antibiotic therapy and corticosteroids. Pneumonia care bundles are being defined to improve outcomes. Increased recognition of both acute and long term cardiac complications is shifting our concept of pneumonia from an acute lung disease to a multisystem problem with adverse chronic health consequences.

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