Klebsiella pneumonia, also known as Friedländer pneumonia, refers to pneumonia resulting from an infection from the organism Klebsiella pneumoniae.
There tends to be a higher prevalence in older patients with alcoholism and debilitated hospitalised patients 3.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is among 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.
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.
There can be variable features on chest HRCT which can also depend on current other organisms. The spectrum includes
- ground glass opacities: considered relatively common 5
- consolidation: considered relatively common 5
- intralobular reticular opacities
- centrilobular nodules
- interlobular septal thickening
- pleural effusions
History and etymology
Klebsiella pneumoniae was first described by German microbiologist Carl Friedländer (1847-1887) in 1882, in a series of patients with Klebsiella pneumonia 7,8.
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