Pneumonia in pregnancy

Patrick S. Ramsey, Kirk D. Ramin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Although the advent of broad-spectrum antibiotics has markedly improved the maternal outcomes of pneumonia complicating pregnancy, pneumonia remains a significant condition that may complicate pregnancy. This article has reviewed the inherent physiologic respiratory changes that accompany pregnancy and the common causes of pneumonia in the pregnant woman. The clinical course of bacterial pneumonia seems to be minimally altered by pregnancy, whereas viral pneumonia carries a significantly worse prognosis when encountered during gestation. Prompt diagnosis, the initiation of respiratory support, and appropriate antimicrobial/antiviral therapy are key components of therapy for women in whom pregnancy is complicated by pneumonia. Because preterm labor frequently accompanies pneumonia, women should be monitored closely for the occult onset of preterm labor and appropriate interventions initiated if indicated. Perhaps even more important than interventions to treat acute pneumonia are efforts directed at active immunization or prophylactic therapy to prevent the development of pneumonia in select patient populations. The combination of these efforts is essential to optimize medical care for pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70217
Pages (from-to)553-569
Number of pages17
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


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