Pediatric Empyema Follow-up

Updated: Sep 30, 2016
  • Author: Peter H Michelson, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
  • Print
Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Obtain follow-up radiographs and pulmonary function tests to determine prognosis of patients with empyema and to confirm resolution of pleural and parenchymal changes.

  • Consider a follow-up chest CT scan after the radiography findings clear.

Next:

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

See the list below:

  • See Medication.

Previous
Next:

Transfer

See the list below:

  • Children should receive their care in hospitals equipped to deal with ill children and staffed with the appropriate pediatric subspecialists.

Previous
Next:

Complications

See the list below:

  • Fibrothorax, a complication reported in the adult literature, is rarely observed in pediatric patients.

Previous
Next:

Prognosis

See the list below:

  • The prognosis for most patients with parapneumonic effusions is quite good.

  • Extended antibiotics may be needed in some patients with complicated parapneumonic effusions (CPE).

  • Despite the variability in presentation, most patients recover without sequelae.

  • Numerous studies have demonstrated resolution of the radiographic abnormalities by 3-6 months following therapy, with few to no symptoms reported at follow-up examination.

  • Pulmonary function testing performed following hospitalization has not shown marked abnormalities, regardless of clinical course. The only abnormality observed may be slight expiratory flow limitation. Mild obstructive abnormalities were the only findings observed in patients evaluated 12 years (±5) following recovery from empyema.

  • Some increased bronchial reactivity has been reported at later follow-up examinations; however, lung function and exercise response return to normal for most patients.

  • Early recognition of pneumonia with parapneumonic effusion, effective intervention to identify the causative organism, and initiation of definitive therapy reduce morbidity and complications associated with this process.

Previous
Next:

Patient Education

See the list below:

Previous