Encyclopedia Home / P / Pneumonia - weakened immune system

Pneumonia - weakened immune system

  • Alternative Names

    Pneumonia in immunodeficient patient; Pneumonia - immunocompromised host

    • Cough (may be dry or produce mucus-like, greenish, or pus-like sputum)
    • Chills with shaking
    • Easy fatigue
    • Fever
    • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
    • Headache
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing or coughing
    • Shortness of breath

    Other symptoms that may occur:

    • Excessive sweating or night sweats
    • Joint stiffness (rare)
    • Muscle stiffness (rare)
    • Swollen glands

    Signs and tests

    The doctor may hear crackles or other abnormal breath sounds when listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Reduced or absent breath sounds can be an important sign, because it may mean there is a buildup of fluid between the chest wall and lung, called a pleural effusion.

    Tests may include:

    • Arterial blood gases
    • Blood chemistries
    • Blood culture
    • Bronchoscopy (in certain cases)
    • Chest CT scan (in certain cases)
    • Chest x-ray
    • Complete blood count
    • Lung biopsy (in certain cases)
    • Serum Cryptococcus antigen test
    • Sputum Gram stain
    • Sputum immunofluorescence tests (or other immune tests)
    • Urine tests (to diagnose Legionnaire's disease)