The clinical course in 36 cases of Pseudomonas pneumonia collected over a 15 year period (1956 to 1970) at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health were reviewed to identify factors which increased the risk of infection and affected prognosis. In all cases, the patients had a serious underlying disease which predisposed to infection, and the majority had neoplastic diseases, particularly acute leukemia; cardiac or pulmonary diseases were less frequent. Pseudomonas related mortality was 81 per cent and was not influenced by type of antibiotic therapy or by the year of occurrence. Many patients were neutropenic, usually subsequent to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and frequently had been treated with steroids or antibiotics just prior to the development of pneumonia. Adequate numbers of circulating granulocytes were essential to survival. No patient with a positive blood culture survived. Possibilities for new means of prevention and treatment of Pseudomonas pneumonia are discussed.
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