Clinical and microbiological characteristics of community-acquired thoracic empyema or complicated parapneumonic effusion caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae in Taiwan

  • Y.-T. Lin
  • T.-L. Chen
  • L. K. Siu
  • S.-F. Hsu
  • C.-P. FungEmail author


Klebsiella pneumoniae is the major cause of community-acquired pyogenic infections in Taiwan and is becoming an increasing problem in acute thoracic empyema. This study evaluated the clinical and microbiological characteristics of community-acquired thoracic empyema or complicated parapneumonic effusion caused by K. pneumoniae in Taiwanese adults treated during the period 2001–2008 at a tertiary medical center. All clinical isolates were examined for capsular serotypes K1/K2, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed on strains of the same serotype. K. pneumoniae was the most frequent cause of community-acquired thoracic empyema or complicated parapneumonic effusion. It was associated with high mortality (32.4%) and was an independent risk factor for fatal outcome. Diabetes mellitus, liver cirrhosis, and bronchogenic carcinoma were independent risk factors for K. pneumoniae infection. Serotypes K1 (9/37, 24.3%) and K2 (13/37, 35.1%) were the prevalent strains but did not predispose patients to poor outcome compared with other non-K1/K2 serotypes. There was no major cluster of isolates found among serotype K1/K2 strains. In summary, physicians should be aware of the risk factors for thoracic empyema or complicated parapneumonic effusion caused by K. pneumoniae and the associated high mortality, and monitor these patients more closely.


Liver Abscess Pleural Fluid Bronchogenic Carcinoma Tertiary Medical Center Pyogenic Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Financial support

This study was supported by grants V99A-143 and V99C1-115 from Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

Conflict of interest

All authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.-T. Lin
    • 1
  • T.-L. Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. K. Siu
    • 3
  • S.-F. Hsu
    • 1
  • C.-P. Fung
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.National Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Unit of Infectious Diseases, Division of Clinical ResearchNational Health Research InstitutesZhunanTaiwan

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