Lung - nontumor
Infections
Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 February 2017, last major update September 2011

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: Pseudomonas aeruginosa [title] pulmonary infection

Cite this page: Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/lungnontumorpseudomonas.html. Accessed November 21st, 2017.
Clinical features
  • Aerobic, mobile, flagellated Gram negative bacillus that survives in water, soil and vegetation
  • Worldwide distribution (eMedicine)
  • Resistant to many disinfectants, common in hospital environment, common cause of hospital acquired infections
  • Commonly colonizes humans, but rarely causes disease in healthy subjects
  • Affects primarily infants, cystic fibrosis, immunocompromise, critically ill, neutropenia and burns / on ventilators
  • Immunocompromised usually have paucicellular pattern, rapidly progressive course with bronchopneumonia and bacteremia
  • Immunocompetent have a cellular pneumonia, more protracted course
  • Perivascular bacterial infiltration is somewhat specific for pseudomonas

Infants:
  • Rare: 0.3% of neonatal ICU admissions
  • Usually low birth weight (1.2% of low birth weight admissions)
  • Mortality 32% - 87% with death within 1 - 2 days
  • Diagnosis made by culture
Case reports
  • 49 year old woman with fatal pneumonia likely associated with contaminated hot tub (Infection 2011;39:265)
Gross images

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Pseudomonas pneumonia

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Necrotizing pneumonia with 2 patterns: paucicellular coagulative confluent bronchopneumonia with perivascular bacillary infiltration (bacteremic) or cellular pneumonia without evidence of perivascular organisms (nonbactermic)
  • Nonbacteremic: often occurs in debilitated patients with chronic lung or heart disease through aspiration
Additional references