Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Airway abscessation

Contributor(s): Philip K Nicholls

Introduction

  • Abscessation of the respiratory tract is rare.
  • Cause: foreign body, complication of other respiratory pathology.
  • Signs: depends on location to some extent:
    • Pyrexia.
    • Cough.
    • Dyspnea.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, bronchoscopy.
  • Treatment: antibiotics, surgery.
  • Prognosis: guarded.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Often associated with underlying pathology:
    • Direct trauma, eg bite wound.
    • Focal pneumonia.
    • Necrotic tumor.
    • Foreign body, eg migrating grass seed.
    • Parasitic infection.
    • Other primary pulmonary conditions.

Predisposing factors

General

Pathophysiology

  • Abscessation may occur in:
    • Upper respiratory tract: larynx, trachea.
    • Lower respiratory tract: bronchi.
    • Pulmonary parenchyma.
    • Mediastinum.
  • Focal damage and/or reduced local immunity   →   infection.
  • Infection may spread locally, along airways or via hematogenous route.
  • Clinical signs result from:
    • Loss of functional pulmonary parenchyma.
    • Airway obstruction.
    • Loss of functional pulmonary capacity, eg pyothorax Pyothorax.
    • Systemic spread of infection.

Timecourse

  • Weeks to months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Crisp M S, Birchard S J, Lawrence A E & Fingeroth J (1987) Pulmonary abscess caused by a Mycoplasma sp in a cat. JAVMA 191 (3), 340-342 PubMed.
  • Mansfield P D, Wilt G R & Powers R D (1984) Clostridial myositis associated with an intrathoracic abscess in a cat. JAVMA 184 (9), 1150-1151 PubMed.


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