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Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Pregnancy

Sheffield, Jeanne S., MD; Cunningham, F Gary, MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181b8e76d
Clinical Expert Series
Expert Discussion

Community-acquired pneumonia is a common disease worldwide, with considerable morbidity and mortality. In the United States, pneumonia complicates 0.5 to 1.5 per 1,000 pregnancies. Physiologic adaptations in the respiratory and immunologic systems may increase susceptibility to pulmonary infections as well as alter their clinical course. Bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens all cause pneumonia in pregnancy, although the causative agent is identified in only 40–60% of cases. The most common single pathogen is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is identified in 15–20% of community-acquired pneumonia cases in pregnancy. Recent recommendations by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society on the management of community-acquired pneumonia address diagnostic techniques and management schemes for bacterial and viral pneumonias. These guidelines are discussed in the setting of the pregnant woman with community-acquired pneumonia.

Community-acquired pneumonia remains a common disease worldwide, requiring informed management in pregnancy.

From the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

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Corresponding author: Jeanne S. Sheffield, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75390-9032; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure Dr. Sheffield did not report any potential conflicts of interest. Dr. Cunningham receives royalties from multiple textbook publishers, predominately McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), including several editions of Williams Obstetrics and the first edition of Williams Oncology.

© 2009 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.