Recurrent Pneumonia

What is recurrent pneumonia?

Recurrent pneumonia is defined as two episode of pneumonia in one year or >3 times in life. This condition poses problem for the patient and the attendant in terms of hospitalization, mental trauma etc. Hence, proper and detailed work-up needs to be done to find out the etiology and treat accordingly.


The underlying causes may be

  • congenital heart disease especially acyanotic
  • gastro-esophageal reflux.
  • structural anamoly of lung
  • immunodeficiency
  • asthma
  • retained foreign body


How to track underlying causes?

These causes can be ruled out by battery of investigations like for heart disease echocardiography,for recurrent aspirations Gastro-esophageal scan can be done, structural anamoly of lung diagnosed by computed tomography and bronchoscopy. Bronchoscopy can also visualize foreign body and help in removing it.

Patients with recurrent pneumonia should also undergo investigation for atypical micro-organism like chlamydia, mycoplasma and leoginella. Person is treated as a case of pneumonia with antibiotics and the etiology if identified should be treated as well.


Dr. Mukesh Joshi
Chest Physician