Hospital records were reviewed on 78 consecutive patients (33 homosexuals, 37 Haitians and 8 IV drug abusers) who had AIDS and who underwent fiberoptic bronchoscopy over a two year period. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) was the most common bronchoscopic finding (53.8% of patients) followed by tuberculosis (14.1%), cytomegalovirus infection (12.8%) and atypical mycobacteriosis (3.8%). In 15.4% of patients multiple organisms were found. Twenty-seven percent of patients had non-diagnostic bronchoscopies. In 8 patients with non-diagnostic bronchoscopies, open-lung biopsy or autopsy revealed PCP (2 patients), Kaposi's sarcoma (3 patients) and non-specific lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltrates (3 - patients). Histologic studies of transbronchial biopsy specimens were more sensitive for the diagnosis of PCP than touch imprints. PCP was diagnosed in 15 patients who had received trimethroprim-sulfamethoxazole for up to 4 days. Mean duration of respiratory symptoms prior to bronchoscopy was 4.2 weeks in patients with PCP and was not significantly different in patients with other bronchoscopic diagnoses. Historical, laboratory and chest radiographic parameters were not helpful in establishing a diagnosis or assessing prognosis in these AIDS patients with pulmonary infiltrates. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy is safe (only one of the patients had a self limited hemorrhagic episode) and sensitive for the diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates in patients with AIDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas