The radiographic resolution of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia

N Engl J Med. 1975 Oct 16;293(16):798-801. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197510162931604.


To determine the characteristics of the radiographic resolution of bacteremic Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia we examined serial chest roentgenograms in 72 patients. Consolidation disappeared in all patients by eight to 10 weeks; volume loss (9 per cent), plural disease (9 per cent), and stranding (19 per cent) often persisted beyond eight weeks. Resolution occurred earlier in patients less than 50 years old (P less than 0.05) and in the absence of alcoholism and underlying airways disease regardless of age (P less than 0.05). Delayed clearing occurred when these complicating factors were present in patients over 50. Lung cancer was not responsible for delayed resolution of pneumonia. We conclude that an appropriate interval for serial radiographic examinations after therapy for pneumococcal pneumonia is six weeks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections / complications
  • Pneumococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors