Which physical findings are characteristic of nocardiosis?

Updated: Jul 24, 2018
  • Author: George Kurdgelashvili, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The physical findings of nocardiosis also vary based on the site of infection.

Patients with primary cutaneous nocardiosis present with cellulitis, cutaneous nodules, nodules with ascending lymphadenopathy, or with a mycetoma that is clinically indistinguishable from similar infections due to other pathogens.

Patients with pulmonary nocardiosis present with findings of pulmonary consolidation with or without evidence of pleural effusions.

The presentation of disseminated nocardiosis depends on the sites of infection. Pulmonary findings frequently predominate. Local findings associated with metastatic abscesses may be present at almost any site but are typically in the lower extremities. The combination of pneumonia and lower-extremity abscess is particularly suggestive of nocardiosis, although this is not seen exclusively in nocardiosis. Patients with brain abscess may present with altered mental status, personality changes, or various localizing neurologic findings. Patients with meningitis present with fever, altered consciousness, and meningismus.

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