Nosocomial pneumonia: pathogenesis and recent advances in diagnosis and therapy

Rev Infect Dis. Jul-Aug 1991;13 Suppl 9:S743-51. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.supplement_9.s743.


Despite recent progress in the prevention and treatment of hospital-acquired infections, nosocomial pneumonia remains an important problem among critically ill patients. Nosocomial pneumonia develops in five to 10 patients per 1,000 admissions and has a mortality rate of 20%-50%. This review focuses on three areas of nosocomial pneumonia that have been the subject of investigation in recent years: (1) pathogenesis, especially the role of gastric colonization with gram-negative bacilli in retrograde pharyngeal spread; (2) diagnosis, particularly by means of bronchoalveolar lavage and the protected specimen brush during bronchoscopy; and (3) therapy with extended-spectrum penicillins, third-generation cephalosporins, imipenem, aztreonam, and quinolones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Cross Infection / diagnosis
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Cross Infection / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents