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Adolesc Med. 2000 Oct;11(3):681-95.

Community-acquired pneumonia in adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA.


Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is defined as pneumonia acquired outside of the hospital setting. Extensive studies of CAP in adolescents that characterize the true incidence of various etiologic pathogens are not available. However, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydia pneumoniae appear to be the most frequently encountered pathogens. These organisms often cause CAP in adults as well; other infections are noted as well, including Legionella. "Atypical pneumonia" refers to pneumonia not presenting with the usual clinical picture of pneumococcal infection (which includes high fever, productive cough, chills, and other "classic" features). The term is frequently used in adolescents with CAP. However, this classification may not help in individual patients, who often show a high degree of variability in the clinical presentation of pneumonia; also it does not always predict microbial cause. There is currently a trend away from the concept of atypical pneumonia syndrome and more discussion of atypical pathogens as commonly causes of CAP. This article reviews recent literature on CAP with special emphasis on its diagnosis and management in adolescent patients.

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