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J Natl Med Assoc. 1979 Jan;71(1):39-43.

Lung abscess: a review of three-years' experience at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.


The experience with 45 patients with lung abscess over a three-year period at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, is presented. This study confirms the rarity of this disease among Nigerian children and its prevalence in young adults in the third and fourth decades of life. The most common presenting symptoms were purulent cough, chest pain, fever, and life-threatening hemoptysis which was the sole indication for emergency operation in 14 out of 16 patients who were treated surgically. The predominance of these abscesses in the right lung, especially in the superior segment of the lower lobe, supports the fact that aspiration of infected material, following depressed level of consciousness, esophageal obstruction, foreign bodies, and oral sepsis form the major causative factors in patients with lung abscess. The frequent association of sickle cell disease, bronchiectasis, hypertension, and pulmonary aspergilloma contribute significantly to the morbidity and mortality attendant to this disease in our environment. Twenty-nine patients were treated medically with five deaths and 16 patients were treated surgically with six deaths. The high operative mortality (37.5 percent) in this series was due to the extreme emergency conditions under which these patients were operated.

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