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J Emerg Med. 2006 May;30(4):371-5.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae: usual suspect and unsecured diagnosis in the acute setting.

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Department of Medicine, Medical Policlinic, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt, Munich, Germany.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae is one of the most common known bacterial pathogens of the respiratory tract, especially in patients between 5 and 30 years of age. It may be encountered at a relatively high rate in the non-life-threatened fraction of Emergency Department (ED) patients presenting with upper respiratory symptoms or cough. Yet its hallmarks are very non-specific, including a great variety of presentations from mild pharyngitis to potentially life-threatening complications such as the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Here, we describe a typical case of pneumonia due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae in a young adult with mild pharyngitis as the leading symptom. Disease presentation, complications, diagnostic means, therapeutic options, and suspicious clinical settings are discussed to provide a review on the clinical aspects of the disease that are important in the ED setting.

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