Aspiration: /aspə’rāSH(ə)n/ Noun An Ambiguous Term Used for a Diagnosis of UncertaintyFerguson, John, MD*; Ravert, Brian, MD†; Gailey, Michael, DO‡Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: September 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 177–183 doi: 10.1097/CPM.0000000000000277 Topics in Pulmonary Medicine Buy SDC Abstract Author InformationAuthors Article MetricsMetrics Aspiration is a mechanism in which liquid or solid penetrates into the lungs, which overlaps several disease states. Use of the terms aspiration and aspiration pneumonia is ambiguous and may include pulmonary infection, oropharyngeal dysphagia, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This article reviews the literature and classifies 13 distinct syndromes, grouped into 3 categories to help delineate the different disease states associated with pulmonary aspiration. Chronic anaerobic pulmonary infection should be most precisely referred to as anaerobic pneumonia. The commonly used term, aspiration pneumonia, is misleading to clinicians and should be abandoned. *Rocky Mountain Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Wheat Ridge †Rocky Mountain Radiologists ‡AmeriPath: Anatomic Pathology Services, Denver, CO Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Address correspondence to: John Ferguson, MD, 8550 W. 38th Avenue, Suite 202, Wheat Ridge, CO 80403. E-mail: email@example.com. Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.