A review of the outcome of 440 patients hospitalized between 1967 and 1977 because of lung abscess showed that 41 died (case fatality rate = 9.3%). Major predisposing factors were present in many of the fatal and nonfatal cases. Advanced age and concomitant diseases were associated with a higher risk of death. Aspiration of contents of large cavities may have played a major role in the death of seven patients.
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