Cases of abscess of the lung, pulmonary gangrene, bronchiestasis and certain types of bronchopneumonia are occasionally complicated by the development of pleural effusion. When the pleural fluid is aspirated, it is frequently found to be purulent and to have a foul odor. It is because of this characteristic odor that a pleural effusion of this type is termed putrid empyema. Occasionally this fluid is thin, but more often it is moderately thick and of creamy consistency. It may be yellowish-green or brown, depending on the amount of fresh or changed blood present. In spite of the fact that microscopic examination of the putrid exudates often reveals the presence of many micro-organisms, attempts to cultivate the bacteria under ordinary aerobic conditions may prove unsuccessful. However, the use of anaerobiasis often yields an abundant growth of one or more kinds of bacteria.
The purpose of this article is to report the bacteriologic
FISHER AM, ABERNETHY TJ. PUTRID EMPYEMA: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ANAEROBIC STREPTOCOCCI. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1934;54(4):552–576. doi:10.1001/archinte.1934.00160160071005
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