Pneumonia and Pulmonary Edema

Pneumonia Chapter Overview

Simon Duffy and Eva M. Su


Chapter Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of pulmonary edema as a consequence of severe bacterial and viral pneumonia.
  • Identify key inflammatory events contributing to pulmonary edema.
  • Outline expected clinical changes in a patient in response to infection, inflammation and respiratory distress.

This chapter is about pneumonia, a condition that involves infection of the lung and triggers an inflammatory response resulting in pulmonary edema. Pulmonary edema is a serious condition where the lungs fill with fluid instead of air, making it difficult to breath. Health care workers need to be acutely aware of the occurance of pulmonary edema because it increases the likelihood that patients will need mechanical ventilation and because it is a major contributor to in-hospital mortality.

This chapter is subdivided into:

  • Pre-test
  • Lung anatomy
  • Normal physiology of breathing and the cough reflex
  • Pulmonary circulation, organs and structures of the respiratory zone
  • Lung microbiome and barriers to infection
  • Bacterial and viral pneumonia
  • Inflammatory responses to infection
  • Gross pathology and histopathology of infection
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Edema
  • Interview with medical radiography technologist (Xray) and a medical lab technologist (microbiologist)
  • Case study of two patients with pneumonia:  Erin Johns (and English speaker and advocates for herself) and Miki Huang (a non-English speaker with family as her advocate)
  • Post-test


The following abbreviations are used throughout the chapter.

CBC Complete Blood Count
COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 Virus
CRP C-Reactive Protein
ESR Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
Hib Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
HPIV Human Parainfluenza Virus
IgA Immunoglobulin A
PCV13 Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
RSV Respiratory Synyctial Virus



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Pathology Copyright © 2022 by Simon Duffy and Eva M. Su is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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