Lung abscess is a localized infectious pus-filled cavity of the lung tissue by viral, bacterial, mycotic or parasitic pathogens. Currently, there are different classifications, which are based primarily on the genesis and duration of symptoms. Important steps for diagnosis are in addition to clinical examination, laboratory and chest X-ray especially bronchoscopy with microbiological examinations and computed tomography. Treatment of lung abscesses continues to be a domain of conservative antibiotic therapy. The vast majority of cases can be cured with this. Interventional procedures such as transthoracic or endobronchial abscess drainage with subsequent irrigation can effectively support the healing process. Thoracic surgery is particularly important in cases of failure of conservative and interventional therapy as well as secondary abscesses on the basis of a lung carcinoma. Mostly anatomical resections are required. Alternatively, VAC therapy (vacuum-assisted closure therapy) may be considered in seriously ill, old, immunosuppressed, and multimorbid patients with complicated abscesses (e.g. perforation in the pleural cavity and sero-pneumothorax).
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