Which physical findings are characteristic of Legionella infection?

Updated: Nov 13, 2018
  • Author: Mobeen H Rathore, MD, CPE, FAAP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The severity of illness at presentation varies from mild nonspecific findings to profound respiratory and/or multiorgan failure.

  • Fever is typically present (98%). Temperatures exceeding 40°C occur in 20-60% of patients. The occurrence of bradycardia relative to fever has been overemphasized, but it may occur in patients with advanced pneumonia. [24]

  • Hypotension has been reported in 17% of patients with community-acquired pneumonia(CAP).

  • Lung examination reveals rales and signs of consolidation late in the disease course.

  • In patients with extrapulmonary legionellosis, physical findings relate to the involved organs.

  • Manifestations in children who are immunocompromised appear similar to manifestations in adults. However, in neonates, signs of sepsis with multisystemic involvement appear to be more prominent. Progression to respiratory failure is very rapid, and the disease is likely to be fatal. [26]


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