Pneumatoceles in infants in the neonatal intensive care unit: Clinical characteristics and outcomes

Prem Arora, Vaneetkumar Kalra, Girija Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective To describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of neonatal intensive care unit patients with a radiographic diagnosis of pneumatocele. Study Design Retrospective chart review. Results Our cohort (n = 27) had a gestational age of 27 ± 5 weeks, birth weight of 1038 ± 760 g, and a predominance of females (59%) and black infants (74%). All infants were ventilated at the time of diagnosis at a median age of 12 days (range: 5 to 105 days). Endotracheal cultures sent from 25 infants revealed bacteria in 20 (80%). Clinical diagnosis of pneumonia was made in 18 (67%) infants. Pneumatoceles resolved in 17 (63%) infants, but persisted in 10 (37%) infants. Compared with infants with resolution of pneumatoceles, mortality (70% versus 0%, p < 0.001), positive endotracheal cultures (100% versus 67%, p = 0.05), and clinical diagnosis of pneumonia (100% versus 47%, p = 0.005) were significantly higher in infants with persistent pneumatoceles. Conclusions In infants with pneumatoceles, positive endotracheal culture is a frequent finding and correlates with persistence. Persistence of pneumatoceles is associated with a higher mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-694
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013


  • endotracheal culture
  • neonatal intensive care unit
  • persistent pneumatoceles
  • pneumonia


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