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April 1965

Clostridial Empyema

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center. Fellow in Chest Disease, (Dr. Goldberg), American Thoracic Society; Assistant Professor in Medicine (Dr. Rifkind).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(4):421-425. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860160047008

Introduction  CLOSTRIDIAL empyema is a rare clinical entity in the absence of antecedent thoracic surgery or trauma. To date, correlative clinical descriptions of this disease with recommendations for appropriate therapy have not appeared in the literature. In this communication the clinical features of clostridial empyema in two patients will be described and compared with those of other published cases. The relatively benign course and the absence of extoxin effects in clostridial empyema as compared to myonecrosis will be indicated.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 42-year-old white male former Army officer with multiple sclerosis of 20 years' duration was admitted with the chief complaint of pleuritic left chest pain.Three months previously the patient was hospitalized for an Escherichia coli pyelonephritis and septicemia which responded to treatment with streptomycin and chloramphenicol. Ten weeks before the present admission an abdominal aortic aneurysm was replaced by a Teflon graft. The thoracic cavity

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