What are the possible complications of Pseudomonas infections?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Complications depend on the site of infection.

  • Chronic glanders may lead to multiple abscesses within the muscles of the arms and legs or in the spleen or liver.

  • Chronic melioidosis can involve several organs (eg, joints, viscera, lymph nodes, skin, brain, liver, lung, bones, spleen).

  • Pseudomonal skin infections can be destructive and lead to necrotizing fasciitis, compartment syndrome, necrosis, gangrene, and loss of an extremity.

  • Septicemia may lead to septic shock and death.

CNS infections may lead to seizures, increased intracranial pressure, and the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).

Pseudomonal ear infections may lead to sinusitis, mastoiditis, perichondritis, osteomyelitis of the temporal bones, and thrombosis. Cases of CNS involvement (especially seventh-cranial-nerve palsy) have been reported, although these cases are rare.

Pseudomonal eye infections can lead to corneal perforations and ulcerations, endophthalmitis, and orbital cellulitis.

GI infections may lead to cecal perforation, peritonitis, typhlitis, and severe electrolyte and fluid disturbances.

Untreated endocarditis may lead to congestive heart failure, conduction heart block, cerebritis, mycotic aneurysms, or brain abscess. Septic emboli to the lung and spleen also have been reported.

Pneumonia may require endotracheal intubation for respiratory support.

Prognosis varies based on the site of infection.

Always emphasize good hygiene, universal precautions, and safe sexual practices.

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