1 doctor weighed in:
My father was diagnosed with atypical pneumonia. What does this mean?
1 doctor weighed in

Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
In brief: Outdated term
"atypical pneumonia" is actually very common, but differs from the "textbook" description of acute onset symptoms with a very predictable x-ray appearance.
The designation is not useful. It tells us little about the causative bug(s), and treatment is not determined by the x-ray or acuity of symptoms. Currently, a more useful term used to guide treatment decisions is community acquired pneumonia.

In brief: Outdated term
"atypical pneumonia" is actually very common, but differs from the "textbook" description of acute onset symptoms with a very predictable x-ray appearance.
The designation is not useful. It tells us little about the causative bug(s), and treatment is not determined by the x-ray or acuity of symptoms. Currently, a more useful term used to guide treatment decisions is community acquired pneumonia.
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
23 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors