A study on the gastric aspirate findings in infants with features of neonatal pneumonia and in healthy controls is presented. Definite pneumonia was associated with thickly mucoid gastric fluid containing a high proportion of polymorphonuclear leucocytes. Healthy infants had thin fluid and predominance of `non-leucocytes' in the gastric smear. It is suggested that gastric aspirate cellularity is of diagnostic value for neonatal pneumonia. A polymorph count of over 75% indicates infection and warrants appropriate antibiotic therapy, and a count of over 35% suggests the possibility of underlying infection.
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