[How often is bronchopneumonia overlooked as the cause of death in intensive care unit patients?]

Anaesthesist. 2008 Jan;57(1):37-42. doi: 10.1007/s00101-007-1283-9.
[Article in German]


Background: This study addresses the issue of analyzing the relationship between pre-mortem diagnoses and post-mortem findings in an intensive care unit (ICU).

Materials and methods: Investigating a total of 1,205 autopsy cases, pre-mortem and post-mortem diagnoses were retrospectively evaluated and compared statistically by means of established categories (i.e."complete, partial, or lacking concordance" and"clinically suspected diagnosis").

Results: When comparing clinical diagnoses and autopsy findings in terms of bronchopneumonia, concordance was recorded in only 21.15% of the cases investigated.

Conclusion: In multimorbid ICU patients, bronchopneumonia frequently fails to be clinically recognized since clinical parameters commonly used for monitoring appear to be modified due to therapeutical interventions, and thus are inappropriate to reflect the complete histomorphological equivalent of the disease. This study also emphasizes the importance of autopsy which represents a sensitive means for professional medical quality assurance, and again establishes the necessity for strengthening the request for autopsy, which is currently characterized by an unfavourable decline.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bronchopneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Bronchopneumonia / mortality*
  • Bronchopneumonia / pathology
  • Cause of Death*
  • Critical Care*
  • Documentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care