Computed tomography of pulmonary complications of community-acquired pneumonia
Neva Coce, Silvana Giljanović Jacmenović, Luka Filipović-Grčić, Ivana Kuhtić
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a pneumonia acquired in normal, daily life. The causes of CAP are bacteria and viruses, and the treatment is usually empiric since the pathogen is positively identified in only 5% of the cases. Its course can vary from mild to severe and even life-threatening. Today CAP is readily diagnosed by chest radiogram. Computed tomography (CT) and transthoracic ultrasound are used as imaging methods to diagnose pulmonary complications of CAP like pleural effusion, empyema, pneumothorax, pneumatocele and lung abscess. The empyema and effusion are presented as a collection of fluid in the pleural space, and if the collection is located in the pulmonary parenchyma bounded by a thick wall, it is called an abscess. An air-filled cystic lesion of the pulmonary parenchyma is called pneumocele, which can rupture to cause pneumothorax – pathological presence of air in the pleural space. In this review article we present an image series of CT findings of pulmonary complications of CAP in patients with lung abscess, empyema, pneumothorax, and pneumatocele with bronchogenic fistula.