Thursday, August 23, 2012


A 30 year old man presents with a week of cough. "It started seven days ago, and at first I thought it was a common cold, but it just didn't get better. I didn't have fever or anything, so I wasn't concerned, but soon my cough started producing this green and yellow sputum." In fact, cough in patients with this disease often lasts 10-20 days. The patient has no shortness of breath, chest pain, hemoptysis, fevers, chills or any other symptoms. He has no other medical problems, medications, or significant social history. The patient reports an up-to-date vaccination on pertussis. On exam, vitals are normal and lungs are clear to auscultation. A lateral film is shown below.

Challenge: You decline to prescribe antibiotics because the clinical presentation most likely suggests what disease caused by which organisms?

Image shown under Creative Commons License.

1 comment:

Craig Chen said...


This is acute bronchitis, usually caused by influenza, parainfluenza, coronavirus, rhinovirus, RSV, and human metapneumovirus. The X-ray is normal.

Sources: UpToDate; Wikipedia.