Pulmonary Abscesses

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Multiple pulmonary abscesses (Image sourced from Bristol Biomed Image Archive with permission)
  • Commonly found post mortem
  • Can be a consequence of:
  1. Septic emboli lodging in the pulmonary vessels
  2. Extension from severe focal suppurative bronchopneumonia
  3. Aspiration of foreign material (see aspiration pneumonia)
  4. Direct penetration
  • The pattern of abscessation can suggest the aetiology i.e. multiple widespread abscesses suggest a haematogenous origin; isolated cranioventral abscesses usually arise from suppurative pneumonia.