The Pneumonias pp 255-276 | Cite as

Antibiotic Therapy of Pulmonary Infections

  • Burke A. Cunha


Early, appropriate antimicrobial therapy determines the outcome with life-threatening pulmonary infections. Therefore it is imperative that the clinician correctly diagnose the type of infectious pulmonary process and determine the most likely organisms associated with the patient’s clinical presentation or relevant epidemiology and appropriate laboratory tests. All of these factors determine the appropriateness of empiric antimicrobial therapy against the presumed pathogens in patients with bacterial pneumonias. The working diagnosis should include a differential diagnosis that takes into account the most likely pathogens given the aforementioned factors. After the appropriate spectrum has been determined, the clinician must consider the pharmacokinetic factors that determine the dose, dosing regimen, and method of administration of the antibiotic. Hepatic and renal functions must also be determined, as they affect antibiotic selection and dosing modifications. The patient’s allergic history must be taken into account as well as the safety profile of the antibiotic. An important factor when selecting an antimicrobial is its resistance potential. When an organism is finally identified as the primary pathogen in a pneumonic process, attention may be given to specific antimicrobial therapy. The duration of antimicrobial therapy is empiric, and the duration of treatment for most pulmonary infections is based on arbitrary limits.1–7


Minimal Inhibitory Concentration Antimicrobial Therapy Pulmonary Infection Empiric Therapy Nosocomial Pneumonia 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Burke A. Cunha

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