Etiologic diagnosis of bacterial nosocomial pneumonia in seriously ill patients

R. Berger, L. Arango

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We identified retrospectively 19 critically ill, intubated patients in whom tracheobronchial secretions had been cultured before antimicrobials were administered. Each of these patients had bacterial nosocomial pneumonia, as diagnosed by a positive bacterial culture from blood, pleural fluid, percutaneously aspirated lung material, special endobronchial brushings, and/or postmortem lung specimens. In 11 (58%) patients, the predominant organism in the tracheobronchial secretions was the same one identified in the diagnostic culture. However, in eight (42%) patients, the infecting bacteria were either not predominant or did not grow in the culture of respiratory secretions. We conclude that standard microbiological studies of central tracheobronchical secretions are not always reliable for establishing the etiology of a bacterial nosocomial pneumonia in this type of patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-836
Number of pages4
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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