Klebsiella pneumonia

Klebsiella pneumonia is refers to a pneumonia resulting from an infection from the organism Klebsiella pneumoniae

There tends to be a higher prevalance in older patients with alcoholism and debilitated hospitalised patients 3.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is amongst the most common Gram-negative bacteria encountered by physicians worldwide, and accounts for 0.5-5.0% of all cases of pneumonia 2. This organism can cause extensive pulmonary necrosis and frequent cavitation 1.

Plain radiograph

It is one of causes that could be suspected when there is a cavitatory pneumonia +/- a bulging fissure sign. Often there can be extensive lobar opacification with air bronchograms.

A helpful feature which may help to distinguish from pneumococcal pneumonia is that Klebsiella pneumonia develops cavitation in 30-50% of cases (in comparison, cavitation is rare in pneumococcal pneumonia). This occurs early and progresses quickly. Massive necrosis (pulmonary gangrene) is a recognised complication.

HRCT chest

There can be variable features which can also depend on current other organisms. The spectrum includes

A necrotising pneumonia can occur as a complication 6.

Share article

Article information

rID: 25241
System: Chest
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae pneumonia (KPP)
  • Friedländer’s pneumonia

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.