Aspiration-related deaths in 57 consecutive patients: Autopsy study

Xiaowen Hu, Eunhee S. Yi, Jay H Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Aspiration can cause a diverse spectrum of pulmonary disorders some of which can lead to death but can be difficult to diagnose. Patients and Methods: The medical records and autopsy findings of 57 consecutive patients in whom aspiration was the immediate cause of death at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) over a 9-yr period, from January 1 2004 to December 31 2012 were analyzed. Results: The median age at death was 72 years (range, 13-95 years) and included 39 (68%) males. The most common symptom before death was dyspnea (63%) and chest radiography revealed bilateral infiltrates in the majority (81%). Most common precipitating factors for aspiration were depressed consciousness (46%) and dysphagia (44%). Aspiration-related syndromes leading to death were aspiration pneumonia in 26 (46%), aspiration pneumonitis in 25 (44%), and large airway obstruction in 6 patients (11%). Aspiration was clinically unsuspected in 19 (33%) patients. Antimicrobial therapy had been empirically administered to most patients (90%) with aspiration pneumonia and aspiration pneumonitis. Conclusion: We conclude aspiration-related deaths occur most commonly in the elderly with identifiable risks and presenting bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. One-third of these aspiration-related pulmonary syndromes were clinically unsuspected at the time of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere103795
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2014

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Radiography
Autopsy
necropsy
death
pneumonia
Aspiration Pneumonia
lungs
Lung
Pneumonia
intestinal obstruction
dyspnea
consciousness
chest
Aspirations (Psychology)
radiography
Precipitating Factors
respiratory tract diseases
signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
drug therapy
Airway Obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Aspiration-related deaths in 57 consecutive patients : Autopsy study. / Hu, Xiaowen; Yi, Eunhee S.; Ryu, Jay H.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 7, e103795, 30.07.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hu, Xiaowen ; Yi, Eunhee S. ; Ryu, Jay H. / Aspiration-related deaths in 57 consecutive patients : Autopsy study. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 7.
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