Sputum examination for the diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

A. E. Pitchenik, P. Ganjei, A. Torres, D. A. Evans, E. Rubin, H. Baier

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114 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diagnostic utility of sputum examination in patients with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia secondary to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has so far not been determined. Sputum was induced in 43 patients with AIDS or suspected AIDS just prior to fiberoptic bronchoscopy, scheduled because of an unexplained pulmonary infiltrate on a chest radiograph. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was diagnosed by sputum examination and/or by a bronchoscopic procedure in 20 patients. Of these, sputum samples were positive for Pneumocystis organisms in 11 (55%) of 20 patients tested, bronchial washings were positive in 11 (79%) of 14 patients tested, brush biopsies were positive in 9 (53%) of 17 patients tested, and transbronchial lung biopsies were positive in 18 (90%) of 20 patients tested. The presence of P. carinii cysts in sputum did not correlate with the presence of alveolar macrophages in sputum nor with the volume of sputum. Sputum examination for P. carinii organisms, employed as a first diagnostic step in patients with AIDS with pulmonary infiltrates, may frequently obviate the need for bronchoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-229
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Volume133
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 11 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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    Pitchenik, A. E., Ganjei, P., Torres, A., Evans, D. A., Rubin, E., & Baier, H. (1986). Sputum examination for the diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. American Review of Respiratory Disease, 133(2), 226-229.