Q:

What is retrocardiac pneumonia?

A:

Retrocardiac pneumonia is a form of pneumonia that is found behind the heart. Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by bacteria, virus, or fungi. Retrocardiac means at the back of the heart, according to CDEMcurriculum.org. Therefore, retrocardiac pneumonia is an infection that is behind the heart, which can cause complications in detection because of its location.

Pneumonia is a common infection and there are many treatments available. Despite this, pneumonia can be life-threatening and it is important to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible. X-rays of the chest are the most common method for diagnosing pneumonia. X-rays are quick and fairly inexpensive, but are limited in their capabilities. One such limitation is the ability to see an infection that is in the retrocardiac area, or behind the heart. For this reason, it is important to obtain a lateral view to make sure that area is not missed, notes CDEMcurriculum.org.

Typical symptoms of pneumonia include fever, cough, sputum, and pleuritic chest pains. These symptoms, however, can vary widely and may have similar symptoms to bronchitis, asthma, COPD, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolus, foreign body aspiration, environmental exposure, or cancer. These symptoms warrant a consultation with a doctor for a further diagnosis.


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