Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Mar 1;34(5):583-90. Epub 2002 Jan 16.

Etiological diagnosis of childhood pneumonia by use of transthoracic needle aspiration and modern microbiological methods.

Author information

  • 1Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland.


Childhood pneumonia is usually treated without determining its etiology. The causative organism can be isolated from specimens of blood, empyema fluid, or lung aspirate, but this is rarely done. The potential of transthoracic needle aspiration for identification of causative agents was tested with use of modern microbiological methods. Aspiration was performed for 34 children who had radiological signs compatible with community-acquired pneumonia and had alveolar consolidation. In addition to bacterial and viral cultures and viral antigen detection, nucleic acid detection for common respiratory pathogens was performed on aspirate specimens. Aspiration disclosed the etiology in 20 (59%) of 34 cases overall and in 18 (69%) of 26 patients from whom a representative specimen was obtained. Aspiration's advantages are high microbiological yield and a relatively low risk of a clinically significant adverse event. Aspiration should be used if identification of the causative agent outweighs the modest risk of the procedure.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk