What are the complications of Legionnaires disease?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Complications of Legionnaires disease include the following:

  • Decreased pulmonary function

  • Fulminant respiratory failure

  • Dehydration, septic shock

  • Respiratory insufficiency, hypoxic respiratory failure

  • Endocarditis

  • Neurologic symptoms: Including lethargy, headache, altered mental status, and nonfocal neurologic examination findings

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting

  • Multiple organ failure

  • Coma

  • Bacteremia or abscess formation (in the lungs or at extrapulmonary sites) in immunocompromised patients

  • Death: In 10% of treated nonimmunocompromised patients and in as many as 80% of untreated immunocompromised patients

A study by van Loenhout et al that included 190 patients with LD found that a year after the disease’s onset, many patients were still suffering from 1 or more adverse health effects, particularly fatigue and reduced general quality of life. [9]


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