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A lung abscess is a localized area of lung suppuration, leading to necrosis of the lung parenchyma with or without cavity formation. They are most common in alcoholic men over the age of 50 and usually occur in patients with altered consciousness, as most are the result of aspiration.
Although most commonly secondary, lung abscesses can be primary and also single or multiple, acute or chronic.
The presentation is often of an insidious onset with fever, weight loss, and respiratory symptoms such as chest pain and a cough that can be productive of foul smelling sputum or haemoptysis,which can be massive and life threatening.