What is the role of radiography in the workup of mycoplasmal pneumonia?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Michael Joseph Bono, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Chest radiographic findings vary, but abnormalities are usually more striking than the findings upon physical examination. Bronchopneumonia often appears as patchy consolidation and involves a single lower lobe, although lobar consolidation is rare. Distribution of the infiltrates can be unilateral or bilateral. Platelike atelectasis is noted as thin, flat areas of collapsed lung and is often seen on a lateral image of the chest. Pleural effusions develop in less than 20% of patients; when present, they can be seen on lateral decubitus films.

Reticulonodular or interstitial infiltrates, primarily in the lower lobes, may resemble other diseases with granulomatous pathology, such as tuberculosis, mycoses, and sarcoidosis; hilar adenopathy is sometimes mistaken for malignancy.

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