Treatment of community-acquired pneumonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lower respiratory tract infections are the major cause of death due to infectious disease in the developed and developing world. Despite substantial progress in defining pathogens and in therapeutic options, there continues to be major controversies in the clinical management of these infections. This report reviews the guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), updated from the initial publication. Diagnosis should include a chest X-ray to differentiate acute bronchitis from pneumonia. The decision for hospitalization should be based on social factors and evaluation of severity of illness. Identification of an etiological agent for inpatients should include two pretreatment cultures, one pretreatment sputum specimen, with seriously ill patients requiring studies for Legionella spp. Recommendations for empiric treatment of outpatients are doxycycline, a macrolide or a fluoroquinolone. Recommendations for empiric treatment of hospitalized patients are a cephalosporin plus a macrolide, or a fluoroquinolone alone. Recommendations for ICU patients are a β-lactam combined with either a macrolide or a fluoroquinolone. While concern has arisen about increasing resistance to fluoroquinolones, arguments in favor of these agents include the fact that they have good in vitro activity against nearly all treatable pathogens except some anaerobes. Clinical trials have shown equivalence or superiority compared to other standard agents. They are well tolerated, and can be administered intravenously or orally, once daily. A recent retrospective review has shown superior outcome with fluoroquinolone treatment compared to cephalosporins, including a 36% reduction in mortality. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Guidelines
  • Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)
  • Pneumonia, community-acquired

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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