USU Conference Systems, International Conference on Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ICTROMI) 2017

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The management of a patient with lung abscess
Usman Hadi

Last modified: 2017-10-27



Background: The discovery of antibiotics has radically altered the management and outcomes of patients with lung abscess. Currently, antibiotics are the main treatment for lung abscess

Case: A 50-year-old woman complained of right chest pain accompanied by persistent shortness of breath since 3 daysprior to admission. The Chest pains were sharp, sudden, and worsened  when the patient coughed and took a deep breath. The patient had a History of 3-week cough with greenish yellow sputum and fever. Dyspneu and decreased vesicular sound in the lower third of right hemithorax were found in the physical examination. Laboratory examination showed leukocytosis. Chest x-ray images suggested right lung abscess. CT scan of thorax with contrast indicated pneumonia with right lung inferior lobe abscess. The Antibiotic given was Meropenem for 10 days and then continued with oral clindamycin. The patient was discharged on 19th day of admission.

Discussions: Patients with lung abscess commonly present with a cough that produce a lot of sputum containing necrotic lung tissue. Clinical manifestations include non-specific symptoms and signs that last several weeks mimicking tuberculosis. The antibiotics recommended for treating lung abscesses are empiric broad-spectrum antibiotics due to the fact that the causative agent are polymicrobial.

Conclusions: Patients with lung abscess in good general condition commonly respond well with antibiotics only. The response of antibiotic therapy can be seen after 3-4 days, and the general condition will improve after 4-7 days. However the complete recovery result including normalization on radiology examination can be seen after 2 months.


Key words: Lung Abscess, Antibiotics.