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Clinical features

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Some characteristic features of Klebsiella pneumonia are presented below:

  • most common in men over 40 years of age and is most frequently found in alcoholics
  • other predisposing factors are heart or lung disease, diabetes and malignancy
  • onset is often sudden with severe systemic upset (high fever, rigors) and pleuritic pain
  • sputum is purulent, gelatinous or blood-stained (haemoptysis occurs more often than in most bacterial pneumonias)
  • consolidation is usually seen in the upper lobes and may be extensive - swelling of the infected lobe may result in bulging of the fissures on the lateral chest X-ray
  • there may be marked necrosis and cavitation
  • lung abscess and empyema are more common than in pneumococcal pneumonia
  • mortality is 20-50%

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