Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
CAP is common worldwide, and a major cause of death in all age groups. In children, most deaths (over two million a year) occur in newborn period. According to a World Health Organization estimate, one in three newborn deaths are from pneumonia. Mortality decreases with age until late adulthood, with the elderly at risk for CAP and its associated mortality.
More CAP cases occur during the winter than at other times of the year. CAP is more common in males than females, and more common in black people than Caucasians. Patients with underlying illnesses (such as Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, COPD, tobacco smoking, alcoholism or immune-system problems) have an increased risk of developing pneumonia.
Several studies found that healthcare-associated pneumonia is the second most common type of pneumonia, occurring less commonly than community-acquired pneumonia but more frequently than hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia. In a recent observational study, the rates for CAP, HCAP and HAP were 60%, 25% and 15% respectively. Patients with HCAP are older and more commonly have simultaneous health problems (such as previous stroke, heart failure and diabetes).
The number of residents in long term care facilities is expected to rise dramatically over the next 30 years. These older adults are known to develop pneumonia 10 times more than their community-dwelling peers, and hospital admittance rates are 30 times higher.
A full spectrum of microorganisms is responsible for CAP in adults, and patients with certain risk factors are more susceptible to infections of certain groups of microorganisms. Identifying people at risk for infection by these organisms aids in appropriate treatment.
Many less-common organisms can cause CAP in adults, and are identified from specific risk factors or treatment failure for common causes.
Nursing home-acquired pneumonia is an important subgroup of HCAP. Residents of long term care facilities may become infected through their contacts with the healthcare system; as such, the microbes responsible for their pneumonias may be different from those traditionally seen in community-dwelling patients, requiring therapy with different antibiotics. Other groups include patients who are admitted as a day case for regular hemodialysis or intravenous infusion (for example, chemotherapy). Especially in the very old and in demented patients, HCAP is likely to present with atypical symptoms.
When comparing the bacterial-caused atypical pneumonias with these caused by real viruses (excluding bacteria that were wrongly considered as viruses), the term "atypical pneumonia" almost always implies a bacterial cause and is contrasted with viral pneumonia.
Known viral causes of atypical pneumonia include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A and B, parainfluenza, adenovirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
Smoking cessation and reducing indoor air pollution, such as that from cooking indoors with wood or dung, are both recommended. Smoking appears to be the single biggest risk factor for pneumococcal pneumonia in otherwise-healthy adults. Hand hygiene and coughing into one's sleeve may also be effective preventative measures. Wearing surgical masks by the sick may also prevent illness.
Appropriately treating underlying illnesses (such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, and malnutrition) can decrease the risk of pneumonia. In children less than 6 months of age, exclusive breast feeding reduces both the risk and severity of disease. In those with HIV/AIDS and a CD4 count of less than 200 cells/uL the antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole decreases the risk of "Pneumocystis pneumonia" and is also useful for prevention in those that are immunocomprised but do not have HIV.
Testing pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus and "Chlamydia trachomatis", and administering antibiotic treatment, if needed, reduces rates of pneumonia in infants; preventive measures for HIV transmission from mother to child may also be efficient. Suctioning the mouth and throat of infants with meconium-stained amniotic fluid has not been found to reduce the rate of aspiration pneumonia and may cause potential harm, thus this practice is not recommended in the majority of situations. In the frail elderly good oral health care may lower the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Zinc supplementation in children 2 months to five years old appears to reduce rates of pneumonia.
The most common causative organisms are (often intracellular living) bacteria:
- "Chlamydophila pneumoniae": Mild form of pneumonia with relatively mild symptoms.
- "Chlamydophila psittaci": Causes psittacosis.
- "Coxiella burnetii": Causes Q fever.
- "Francisella tularensis": Causes tularemia.
- "Legionella pneumophila": Causes a severe form of pneumonia with a relatively high mortality rate, known as legionellosis or Legionnaires' disease.
- "Mycoplasma pneumoniae": Usually occurs in younger age groups and may be associated with neurological and systemic (e.g. rashes) symptoms.
Atypical pneumonia can also have a fungal, protozoan or viral cause.In the past, most organisms were difficult to culture. However, newer techniques aid in the definitive identification of the pathogen, which may lead to more individualized treatment plans.
When influenza outbreaks occur, medications such as amantadine or rimantadine may help prevent the condition; however are associated with side effects. Zanamivir or oseltamivir decrease the chance that those exposed will develop symptoms; however, it is recommended that potential side effects are taken into account.
Gram-negative bacteria are seen less frequently: "Haemophilus influenzae" (), "Klebsiella pneumoniae" (), "Escherichia coli" (), "Pseudomonas aeruginosa" (), "Bordetella pertussis", and "Moraxella catarrhalis" are the most common.
These bacteria often live in the gut and enter the lungs when contents of the gut (such as vomit or faeces) are inhaled.
People who have difficulty breathing due to pneumonia may require extra oxygen. An extremely sick individual may require artificial ventilation and intensive care as life-saving measures while his or her immune system fights off the infectious cause with the help of antibiotics and other drugs.
The incidence of pleural empyema and the prevalence of specific causative microorganisms varies depending on the source of infection (community acquired vs. hospital acquired pneumonia), the age of the patient and host immune status. Risk factors include alcoholism, drug use, HIV infection, neoplasm and pre-existent pulmonary disease. Pleural empyema was found in 0.7% of 3675 patients needing hospitalization for a community acquired pneumonia in a recent Canadian single-center prospective study. A multi-center study from the UK including 430 adult patients with community acquired pleural empyema found negative pleural-fluid cultures in 54% of patients, Streptococcus milleri group in 16%, Staphylococcus aureus in 12%, Streptococcus pneumoniae in 8%, other Streptococci in 7% and anaerobic bacteria in 8%. Given the difficulties in culturing anaerobic bacteria the frequency of the latter (including mixed infections) might be underestimated.
The risk of empyema in children seems to be comparable to adults. Using the United States Kids’ Inpatient Database the incidence is calculated to be around 1.5% in children hospitalized for community acquired pneumonia, although percentages up to 30% have been reported in individual hospitals, a difference which may be explained by an transient endemic of highly invasive serotype or overdiagnosis of small parapneumonic effusions. The distribution of causative organisms does differ greatly from that in adults: in an analysis of 78 children with community acquired pleural empyema, no micro-organism was found in 27% of patients, Streptococcus pneumoniae in 51%, Streptococcus pyogenes in 9% and Staphylococcus aureus in 8%.
Although pneumococcal vaccination dramatically decreased the incidence of pneumonia in children, it did not have this effect on the incidence of complicated pneumonia. It has been shown that the incidence of empyema in children was already on the rise at the end of the 20th century, and that the widespread use of pneumococcal vaccination did not slow down this trend. This might in part be explained by a change in prevalence of (more invasive) pneumococcal serotypes, some of which are not covered by the vaccine, as well a rise in incidence of pneumonia caused by other streptococci and staphylococci. The incidence of empyema seems to be rising in the adult population as well, albeit at a slower rate.
VAP occurring early after intubation typically involves fewer resistant organisms and is thus associated with a more favorable outcome. Because respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation is itself associated with a high mortality, determination of the exact contribution of VAP to mortality has been difficult. As of 2006, estimates range from 33% to 50% death in patients who develop VAP. Mortality is more likely when VAP is associated with certain microorganisms ("Pseudomonas", "Acinetobacter"), blood stream infections, and ineffective initial antibiotics. VAP is especially common in people who have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Since the start of the AIDS epidemic, PCP has been closely associated with AIDS. Because it only occurs in an immunocompromised host, it may be the first clue to a new AIDS diagnosis if the patient has no other reason to be immunocompromised (e.g. taking immunosuppressive drugs for organ transplant). An unusual rise in the number of PCP cases in North America, noticed when physicians began requesting large quantities of the rarely used antibiotic pentamidine, was the first clue to the existence of AIDS in the early 1980s.
Prior to the development of more effective treatments, PCP was a common and rapid cause of death in persons living with AIDS. Much of the incidence of PCP has been reduced by instituting a standard practice of using oral co-trimoxazole (Bactrim / Septra) to prevent the disease in people with CD4 counts less than 200/μL. In populations that do not have access to preventive treatment, PCP continues to be a major cause of death in AIDS.
While antibiotics with activity specifically against "M. pneumoniae" are often used (e.g., erythromycin, doxycycline), it is unclear if these result in greater benefit than using antibiotics without specific activity against this organism in those with an infection acquired in the community.
Between 8 and 28% of patients receiving mechanical ventilation are affected by VAP. VAP can develop at any time during ventilation, but occurs most often in the first week of mechanical ventilation. There is some evidence for gender differences in the course of VAP: men have been found to get VAP more often, but women are more likely to die after contracting VAP.
"Mycoplasma pneumoniae" is spread through respiratory droplet transmission. Once attached to the mucosa of a host organism, "M. pneumoniae" extracts nutrients, grows, and reproduces by binary fission. Attachment sites include the upper and lower respiratory tract, causing pharyngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. The infection caused by this bacterium is called atypical pneumonia because of its protracted course and lack of sputum production and wealth of extrapulmonary symptoms. Chronic "Mycoplasma" infections have been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatological diseases.
"Mycoplasma" atypical pneumonia can be complicated by Stevens–Johnson syndrome, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, cardiovascular diseases, encephalitis, or Guillain–Barré syndrome.
The disease PCP is relatively rare in people with normal immune systems, but common among people with weakened immune systems, such as premature or severely malnourished children, the elderly, and especially persons living with HIV/AIDS (in whom it is most commonly observed). PCP can also develop in patients who are taking immunosuppressive medications. It can occur in patients who have undergone solid organ transplantation or bone marrow transplantation and after surgery. Infections with "Pneumocystis" pneumonia are also common in infants with hyper IgM syndrome, an X-linked or autosomal recessive trait.
The causative organism of PCP is distributed worldwide and "Pneumocystis" pneumonia has been described in all continents except Antarctica. Greater than 75% of children are seropositive by the age of 4, which suggests a high background exposure to the organism. A post-mortem study conducted in Chile of 96 persons who died of unrelated causes (suicide, traffic accidents, and so forth) found that 65 (68%) of them had pneumocystis in their lungs, which suggests that asymptomatic pneumocystis infection is extremely common.
"Pneumocystis jirovecii" was originally described as a rare cause of pneumonia in neonates. It is commonly believed to be a commensal organism (dependent upon its human host for survival). The possibility of person-to-person transmission has recently gained credence, with supporting evidence coming from many different genotyping studies of "Pneumocystis jirovecii" isolates from human lung tissue. For example, in one outbreak of 12 cases among transplant patients in Leiden, it was suggested as likely, but not proven, that human-to-human spread may have occurred.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of bacteria combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year. Other estimates indicate 10%, or 2 million, patients a year become infected, with the annual cost ranging from $4.5 billion to $11 billion. In the USA, the most frequent type of infection hospitalwide is urinary tract infection (36%), followed by surgical site infection (20%), and bloodstream infection and pneumonia (both 11%).
"S. pneumoniae" is normally found in the nose and throat of 5–10% of healthy adults and 20–40% of healthy children. It can be found in higher amounts in certain environments, especially those where people are spending a great deal of time in close proximity to each other (day-care centers, military barracks). It attaches to nasopharyngeal cells through interaction of bacterial surface adhesins. This normal colonization can become infectious if the organisms are carried into areas such as the Eustachian tube or nasal sinuses where it can cause otitis media and sinusitis, respectively. Pneumonia occurs if the organisms are inhaled into the lungs and not cleared (again, viral infection, or smoking-induced ciliary paralysis might be contributing factors). The organism's polysaccharide capsule makes it resistant to phagocytosis and if there is no pre-existing anticapsular antibody alveolar macrophages cannot adequately kill the pneumococci. The organism spreads to the blood stream (where it can cause bacteremia) and is carried to the meninges, joint spaces, bones, and peritoneal cavity, and may result in meningitis, brain abscess, septic arthritis, or osteomyelitis.
"S. pneumoniae" has several virulence factors, including the polysaccharide capsule mentioned earlier, that help it evade a host's immune system. It has pneumococcal surface proteins that inhibit complement-mediated opsonization, and it secretes IgA1 protease that will destroy secretory IgA produced by the body and mediates its attachment to respiratory mucosa.
The risk of pneumococcal infection is much increased in persons with impaired IgG synthesis, impaired phagocytosis, or defective clearance of pneumococci. In particular, the absence of a functional spleen, through congenital asplenia, surgical removal of the spleen, or sickle-cell disease predisposes one to a more severe course of infection (overwhelming post-splenectomy infection) and prevention measures are indicated (see asplenia).
People with a compromised immune system, such as those living with HIV, are also at higher risk of pneumococcal disease. In HIV patients with access to treatment, the risk of invasive pneumoccal disease is 0.2–1% per year and has a fatality rate of 8%.
There is an association between pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza. Damage to the lining of the airways (respiratory epithelium) and upper respiratory system caused by influenza may facilitate pneumococcal entry and infection.
Other risk factors include smoking, injection drug use, Hepatitis C, and COPD.
In 2012 the Health Protection Agency reported the prevalence rate of HAIs in England was 6.4% in 2011, against a rate of 8.2% in 2006. With respiratory tract, urinary tract and surgical site infections the most common types of HAI reported.
"S. pneumoniae" is responsible for 15–50% of all episodes of community acquired pneumonia, 30–50% of all cases of acute otitis media, and a significant proportion of bloodstream infections and bacterial meningitis.
As estimated by WHO in 2005 it killed about 1.6 million children every year worldwide with 0.7–1 million of them being under the age of five. The majority of these deaths were in developing countries.
All patients with empyema require outpatient follow-up with a repeat chest X-ray and inflammatory biochemistry analysis within 4 weeks following discharge. Chest radiograph returns to normal in the majority of patients by 6 months. Patients should of course be advised to return sooner if symptoms redevelop. Long-term sequelae of pleural empyema are rare but include bronchopleural fistula formation, recurrent empyema and pleural thickening, which may lead to functional lung impairment needing surgical decortication.
Approximately 15% of adult patients with pleural infection die within 1 year of the event, although deaths are usually due to comorbid conditions and not directly due to sepsis from the empyema. Mortality in children is generally reported to be less than 3%. No reliable clinical, radiological or pleural fluid characteristics accurately determine patients’ prognosis at initial presentation.
Adenovirus can cause severe necrotizing pneumonia in which all or part of a lung has increased translucency radiographically, which is called Swyer-James Syndrome. Severe adenovirus pneumonia also may result in bronchiolitis obliterans, a subacute inflammatory process in which the small airways are replaced by scar tissue, resulting in a reduction in lung volume and lung compliance.
Most cases of COVID-19 are not severe enough to require mechanical ventilation or alternatives, but a percentage of cases are. The type of respiratory support for individuals with COVID-19 related respiratory failure is being actively studied for people in hospital, with some evidence that intubation can be avoided with a high flow nasal cannula or bi-level positive airway pressure. Whether either of these two leads to the same benefit for people who are critically ill is not known. Some doctors prefer staying with invasive mechanical ventilation when available because this technique limits the spread of aerosol particles compared to a high flow nasal cannula.
Severe cases are most common in older adults (those older than 60 years, and especially those older than 80 years). Many developed countries do not have enough hospital beds per capita, which limits a health system's capacity to handle a sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases severe enough to require hospitalisation. This limited capacity is a significant driver behind calls to "flatten the curve"—to lower the speed at which new cases occur and thus keep the number of persons sick at any one time lower. One study in China found 5% were admitted to intensive care units, 2.3% needed mechanical support of ventilation, and 1.4% died. In China, approximately 30% of people in hospital with COVID-19 are eventually admitted to ICU.