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Intern Med. 2016;55(5):437-41. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.55.5556. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Computed Tomography for the Diagnosis and Evaluation of the Severity of Community-acquired Pneumonia in the Elderly.

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Division of Respiratory Medicine, Nissan Tamagawa Hospital, Japan.



We herein assessed the utility of computed tomography (CT) for the diagnosis and ascertainment of the severity of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the elderly.


The utility of CT compared with chest radiography (CR) for the diagnosis of CAP was prospectively studied among elderly inpatients with clinical symptoms and signs indicative of CAP at the Department of Respiratory Medicine in Nissan Tamagawa Hospital during the one-year period from January 2013 to December 2013. Additionally, we evaluated whether the findings of CT were useful as predictive factors related to the mortality rate associated with CAP.


One hundred and forty-two patients, 65 years of age or older, were surveyed upon hospital admission for suspected CAP. Of the 142 patients included, 127 (89.4%) had pneumonic infiltration diagnosed by CT, however, CR could not recognize pneumonic infiltration in 9.4% (12/127) of these patients. In 127 CAP-positive patients, bilateral pneumonic infiltration was more frequently detected by CT in non-survivors than survivors (79.0% vs. 53.7%; p <0.05). By a multivariable analysis to determine the prognostic factors related to mortality from CAP, oxygen desaturation showed the greatest odds ratio among the other predictive factors, followed by comorbid neoplastic disease, blood urea nitrogen ≥21 mg/dL, male gender, and bilateral pneumonic infiltration diagnosed by CT.


We herein demonstrated that CT was superior to CR for diagnosing and evaluating the severity of CAP in elderly patients.

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