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  1. Ben Soar
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ben Soar, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3LJ, UK; benjamin.soar{at}

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Community-acquired pneumonia and viral infection

This prospective study (J Infect Dis 2016;213:584–91) identified the prevalence of 13 different viruses in the upper airway respiratory tract of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and concurrently enrolled asymptomatic controls. A total of 1024 patients with CAP and 759 controls were recruited. Real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR was used to identify the viruses. There was a significant increase in the detection of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus among the patients with CAP compared with the control group. The authors feel this probably indicates an aetiological role.

Pleural effusion: to drain or not to drain prior to CT

Unexplained pleural effusion invariably requires initial investigation with thoracocentesis and CT imaging. Clinical practice varies due to uncertainty as to whether an effusion should be drained before diagnostic imaging. This retrospective study (Respirology 2016;21:392–5) compared 110 patients with paired pre/post drainage chest X-rays and 32 patients with paired CT scans who underwent thoracoscopy for undiagnosed unilateral pleural effusion. This study finds that post-drainage imaging did not provide additional information that would have influenced the clinical …

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