An index of pulmonary epithelial permeability has been studied in 12 patients with chronic renal failure during haemodialysis. It was assessed by the half time clearance from lung to blood (t 1/2 LB) of a nebulised solution containing technetium labelled diethylene triamine pentacetic acid (99mTc DTPA). Six patients were cigarette smokers and six were non-smokers. The non-smokers had greater predialysis permeability (mean 37.7, range 24-54 min) than non-smokers without renal disease (mean 60.2, range 38-99 min; p less than 0.025). The t 1/2 LB was measured before dialysis and during the first half hour and the last half hour of dialysis in all 12 patients and also during other periods of dialysis in 10 of them. Dialysis lasted for five hours in 11 patients and four hours in one patient. There was no significant change in the t 1/2 LB of 99mTc DTPA during early dialysis; but as dialysis progressed there was a statistically significant increase in t 1/2 LB, suggesting a reduction of pulmonary epithelial permeability. These results show no increase in an index of pulmonary epithelial permeability in association with the pulmonary sequestration of neutrophils that occurs in early haemodialysis. They also suggest that in chronic renal failure the epithelial permeability is increased and that this can be modified by haemodialysis.
Various non-invasive investigations were carried out in patients infected with HIV who had respiratory symptoms with and without pneumocystis pneumonia (with pneumonia, n = 13 (five smokers); without pneumonia, n = 22 (13 smokers]. These included chest radiography; lung function tests (forced expiratory volume in one second, forced vital capacity; transfer factor and coefficient for carbon monoxide); arterial blood gas tensions; arterial oxygen saturation at rest and on exercise; and lung clearance of diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid labelled with technetium-99m (99mTc DTPA). The effect of scan time (seven v 45 minutes from peak counts) and subtraction of background counts were examined. There were no significant differences between the two groups in lung function tests or arterial blood gas tensions at rest. The median clearance half time of inhaled 99mTc DTPA for the first seven minutes from peak counts was 7.2 minutes for patients with pneumocystis pneumonia and 22 minutes for those without. The median arterial oxygen desaturation on exercise was 5% in patients with pneumocystis pneumonia and 2% in those without. 99mTc DTPA lung clearance was better than the other non-invasive tests in discriminating pneumocystis pneumonia from other pulmonary disorders in patients positive for HIV. A short scan time of seven minutes was as sensitive and specific as the longer scan time of 45 minutes, and this allows the clearance of 99mTc DTPA to become a rapid screening test.
To compare community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in hospitalized human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with that in hospitalized non-HIV-infected patients by assessing presenting characteristics, etiology and outcomes.
Retrospective chart review.
A tertiary care centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Thirty-two HIV-infected patients requiring hospitalization for treatment of CAP were identified from September 1991 to October 1993 and compared with 33 age-matched non-HIV-infected patients who presented with pneumonia during the same period.
The two populations were comparable in age, sex and race. Fifty per cent of the HIV-infected and 20.8% of the non-HIV-infected patients had had a previous episode of pneumonia. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) accounted for 16 of the 32 episodes of CAP in the HIV-infected patients, while none of the non-HIV-infected patients had PCP. Pneumonia secondary to Streptococcus pneumoniae was more common in the non-HIV-infected patients (five versus one, P=0.02). Vital signs and initial PO2 did not differ between the two groups. White blood cell count was lower at admission for the HIV population (5.7×109/L versus 12.7×109/L, P=0.003). The HIV patients were more likely to undergo bronchoscopy (27.7% versus 0%, P<0.001). The length of stay in hospital, transfer to the intensive care unit and necessity for intubation were the same for both groups. The in-hospital mortality for HIV-infected patients was eight of 32 (25%) while for the non-HIV-infected patients it was none of 33 (P=0.002).
Patients with HIV infection who present with CAP are more likely to have PCP, to have had a past episode of pneumonia and to die while in hospital than age- and sex-matched non-HIV-infected patients with CAP.
Community-acquired pneumonia; Human immunodeficiency virus infection; Hospitalization
Immune responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii are not well understood in HIV infection, but antibody responses to proteins may be useful as a marker of Pneumocystis risk or presence of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP).
Retrospective analysis of a prospective cohort
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of antibodies to recombinant Pneumocystis proteins of major surface glycoprotein fragments (MsgC1, C3, C8, and C9) and of antibody titers to recombinant kexin protein (KEX1) were performed on three sequential serum samples up to 18 months prior to and three samples after first AIDS-defining illness from Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study participants and compared between those who had PcP or a non-PcP AIDS-defining illness.
Fifty-four participants had PcP and 47 had a non-PcP AIDS-defining illness. IgG levels to MsgC fragments were similar between groups prior to first AIDS-defining illness, but the PcP group had higher levels of IgG to MsgC9 (median units/ml 50.2 vs. 22.2, p=0.047) post-illness. Participants with PcP were more likely to have an increase in MsgC3 (OR 3.9, p=0.02), MsgC8 (OR 5.5, p=0.001), and MsgC9 (OR 4.0, p=0.007). The PcP group was more likely to have low KEX1 IgG prior to development of PcP (OR 3.6, p=0.048) independent of CD4 cell count and to have an increase in high IgG titers to KEX1 after PcP.
HIV-infected individuals develop immune responses to both Msg and kexin proteins after PcP. Low KEX1 IgG titers may be a novel marker of future PcP risk before CD4 cell count has declined below 200 cells/μl.
HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Pneumocystis; serology
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is a life-threatening infection for immunocompromised individuals. There are robust data and clear guidelines for prophylaxis and treatment of HIV-related Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (HIV-PCP), yet few data and no guidelines for non-HIV related Pneumocystis pneumonia (NH-PCP). We postulated that prevention and inpatient management of HIV-PCP differed from NH-PCP.
We performed a retrospective case review of all pathologically confirmed cases of PCP seen at the University of Alabama Medical Center from 1996 to 2008. Data on clinical presentation, hospital course, and outcome were collected using a standardized data collection instrument. Bivariate analysis compared prophylaxis, adjunctive corticosteroids, and clinical outcomes between patients with HIV-PCP and NH-PCP.
Our analysis of the cohort included 97 cases of PCP; 65 HIV and 32 non-HIV cases. Non-HIV cases rarely received primary prophylaxis (4% vs. 38%, p=0.01) and received appropriate antibiotics later in the course of hospitalization (5.2 vs 1.1 days, P<0.005). Among transplant patients, NH-PCP was diagnosed a mean of 1,066 days after transplantation and most patients were on low-dose corticosteroids (87%) at the time of disease onset. No significant differences in adjunctive corticosteroid use (69% vs. 77%, p=0.39) and 90-day mortality (41% vs. 28%, p=0.20) were detected.
Patients who have undergone organ or stem cell transplant remain at risk for PCP for many years after transplantation. In our cohort, patients who developed NH-PCP were rarely given prophylaxis and initiation of appropriate antibiotics was significantly delayed compared to cases of HIV-PCP. Medical providers should be aware of the ongoing risk for NH-PCP, even late after transplantation, and consider more aggressive approaches to both prophylaxis and earlier empiric therapy for PCP.
Pneumocystis Pneumonia; Transplant; Infectious Complications
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a Western blot analysis were developed to study the antibody response to Pneumocystis carinii in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from 27 human immunodeficiency virus 27 (HIV)-infected patients with P. carinii pneumonia (Pcp), 32 patients without Pcp, and 51 HIV-negative controls. Urea was used for the correct dilution of epithelial lining fluid, and albumin was used to evaluate transudation from plasma for the assessment of local production of antibodies to P. carinii. By contrast with those of immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA responses to P. carinii were increased in serum from HIV-positive patients compared to negative controls. Local production of antibodies to P. carinii, especially IgA, was decreased in patients with Pcp. In a study of 10 patients of each group, IgG and IgA responses to gp116 from P. carinii were lower in patients with Pcp than in other groups. These results suggest that, in addition to alveolar macrophages, local antibodies may play a role in host defense against P. carinii.
Humoral immune responses in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and uninfected children with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) are poorly understood.
Consecutive children hospitalized with acute pneumonia, tachypnea, and hypoxia in South Africa were investigated for PcP, which was diagnosed by real-time polymerase chain reaction on lower respiratory tract specimens. Serum antibody responses to recombinant fragments of the carboxyl terminus of Pneumocystis jirovecii major surface glycoprotein (MsgC) were analyzed.
149 children were enrolled of whom 96 (64%) were HIV-infected. PcP occurred in 69 (72%) of HIV-infected and 14 (26%) of HIV-uninfected children. HIV-infected children with PcP had significantly decreased IgG antibodies to MsgC compared to HIV-infected patients without PcP, but had similar IgM antibodies. In contrast, HIV-uninfected children with PcP showed no change in IgG antibodies to MsgC, but had significantly increased IgM antibodies compared to HIV-uninfected children without PCP. Age was an independent predictor of high IgG antibodies, whereas PcP was a predictor of low IgG antibodies and high IgM antibodies. IgG and IgM antibody levels to the most closely related MsgC fragments were predictors of survival from PcP.
Young HIV-infected children with PcP have significantly impaired humoral immune responses to MsgC, whereas HIV-uninfected children with PcP can develop active humoral immune responses. The children also exhibit a complex relationship between specific host factors and antibody levels to MsgC fragments that may be related to survival from PcP.
BACKGROUND--This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of a simplified exercise test in the differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). METHODS--Forty five subjects with antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and pneumonia were included and divided into two groups: those with PCP and those with "other pneumonias" (non-PCP). The test involved pedalling for two minutes on a stretcher bed and was considered positive if SaO2 decreased by at least 3%. RESULTS--During the exercise the mean(SE) SaO2 fell in patients with PCP from 88(4)% to 84(3)%, p < 0.01, whilst it improved slightly in subjects with non-PCP from 91(1)% to 93(3)%, p < 0.05. Sensitivity was 77% and specificity 91%. CONCLUSIONS--This simple test seems potentially useful for the initial investigation of HIV antibody positive patients with pneumonia.
OBJECTIVE: To assess changes in survival from diagnosis of AIDS for patients managed in a small East London HIV clinic and the impact of therapeutic interventions on these survival patterns. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: Grahame Hayton Unit, Royal London Hospital. SUBJECTS: 156 AIDS patients managed between 1984 and 1993. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Survival from diagnosis of AIDS. RESULTS: Median survival for those diagnosed with AIDS before 1 January 1987 was 9.4 months compared with 27.2 months after 1 January 1987 (logrank chi 2 = 10.3, p = 0.001): CD4 count at time of AIDS and treatment with zidovudine or PCP prophylaxis were significantly associated with survival from time of AIDS. Of the 156 AIDS patients, 93 had been treated with zidovudine sometime during their follow up, 60 had received primary and 50 secondary Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis. After controlling for gender, sexual orientation, age at time of AIDS, CD4 count at time of AIDS, diagnosis when first presenting to the clinic (AIDS/non-AIDS) and year of AIDS diagnosis, all patients who received either zidovudine or PCP prophylaxis had significant reductions in the risk of dying compared with those who received neither PCP prophylaxis nor zidovudine: a reduction in risk of dying between 71% (95% CI 40% to 86%) and 83% (95% CI 50% to 94%) was observed depending on the combination of zidovudine and PCP prophylaxis. CONCLUSION: A debate is currently taking place about the format and value of HIV service provision with increasing numbers of HIV infected individuals managed at smaller HIV clinics. Larger clinics concentrate clinical expertise on a single site and facilitate clinical trials. Smaller well run HIV units staffed by competent health professionals not only provide clinical outcomes similar to those obtained in the larger centres, but may also allow a more informal and intimate setting for HIV infected individuals who want to be treated nearer their area of residence.
Background: A review was undertaken of the clinical features and results of diagnostic tests in non-HIV infected patients who developed granulomatous Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the charts and radiographs of patients with a granulomatous reaction to P carinii identified from computerised pathology records at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a university affiliated tertiary care hospital.
Results: Three cases were identified; the incidence of granulomatous PCP was 3%. All patients had risk factors for PCP and had received high dose corticosteroids which had been stopped. Two patients had received chemotherapy. Presentation was insidious with only mild symptoms; only one patient had fever. Chest radiographs showed a reticulonodular pattern. Bronchoscopy was negative for PCP in all cases and open lung biopsy was necessary.
Conclusion: A granulomatous pathological reaction to PCP occurs rarely in patients with malignancy. In these cases the clinical presentation may be atypical and bronchoscopy can be non-diagnostic.
To examine the association of clinic HIV-focused features and advanced HIV care experience with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis and development of PCP as the initial AIDS diagnosis.
Nonconcurrent prospective study.
New York State Medicaid Program.
Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with AIDS in 1990–1992.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
We collected patient clinical and health care data from Medicaid files, conducted telephone interviews of directors of 125 clinics serving as the usual source of care for study patients, and measured AIDS experience as the cumulative number of AIDS patients treated by the study clinics since 1986. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prophylaxis in the 6 months before AIDS diagnosis and PCP at AIDS diagnosis were the main outcome measures. Bivariate and multivariate analyses adjusted for clustering of patients within clinics. Of 1,876 HIV-infected persons, 44% had PCP prophylaxis and 38% had primary PCP. Persons on prophylaxis had 20% lower adjusted odds of developing PCP (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64, 0.99). The adjusted odds of receiving prophylaxis rose monotonically with the number of HIV-focused features offered by the clinic, with threefold higher odds (95% CI 1.6, 5.7) for six versus two or fewer such features. Patients in clinics with three HIV-focused features had 36% lower adjusted odds of PCP than those in clinics with one or none. Neither clinic experience nor specialty had a significant association with prophylaxis or PCP.
PCP prevention in our study cohort appears to be more successful in clinics offering an array of HIV-focused features.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP); AIDS; clinical competence; ambulatory care; case management
AIMS: To investigate the effectiveness of digoxigenin incorporated double stranded DNA probes produced by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for the detection of Pneumocystis carinii, using in situ hybridisation (ISH). METHODS: Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded sections of 26 human lung samples from 11 patients with P carinii pneumonia (PCP), and 15 with various types of fungal and viral pneumonia, were obtained during necropsy or transbronchial lung biopsy. Three additional PCP induced rat lung samples were also tested. PCR probes were prepared using the digoxigenin labelling mixture, and they were amplified from the DNA of a PCP induced rat lung after administration of dexamethasone, on the basis that 5S ribosomal RNA sequences are identical in human and rat P carinii. ISH was performed using this probe, and visualised using the digoxigenin nucleic acid detection kit. An immunohistochemical study using anti-human Pneumocystis monoclonal antibody was also carried out in parallel. RESULTS: ISH positively stained eight (of eight) lung necropsy specimens from patients with PCP, three (of three) transbronchial lung biopsy specimens from patients with PCP, and none of the three PCP induced rat lung specimens. In contrast, none of the specimens from patients with pneumonia caused by Aspergillus sp (n = 5), Candida sp (n = 4), Cryptococcus sp (n = 2), mucormycosis (n = 2), or cytomegalovirus (n = 2) were positive on ISH or immunohistochemistry. CONCLUSIONS: Using a digoxigenin labelled PCR probe for the entire 5S rRNA sequence in conjunction with conventional staining, ISH is highly reactive and specific for the diagnosis of PCP.
The effect of cigarette smoke exposure on pulmonary epithelial permeability was studied in 45 smokers and 22 non-smokers. An index of cigarette smoke exposure was obtained from the carboxyhaemoglobin concentration (HbCO%). Pulmonary epithelial permeability was proportional to the half-time clearance rate of technetium-99m-labelled diethylene triamine pentacetate (99mTc DTPA) from lung to blood (T1/2LB). The relationship between T1/2LB and HbCO% was hyperbolic in form and the data could be fitted to the quadratic formula (formula; see text) where the parameters a0, a1, and a2 represent respectively the asymptotic T1/2LB value at large carboxyhaemoglobin values and the slope and shape of the curve. The values of these parameters were a0 4.4 (2.6), a1 = 77.8 (15.5), and a2 -25.5 (9.7) (SE). This is the first demonstration of a dose-response relationship between carboxyhaemoglobin and an increased permeability of the lungs in man and provides a technique for identifying the roles of carbon monoxide and other cigarette smoke constituents in causing increased pulmonary epithelial permeability.
Smoking is common in people infected with HIV but cessation support is not a routine part of clinical care. The aim was to assess whether smoking is a risk factor for pneumonia in people with HIV and whether smoking cessation ameliorates excess risk.
We performed MEDLINE and Embase database searches and included cohort or case-control studies conducted in adult patients infected with HIV extracting a hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR) that compared the incidence of bacterial pneumonia or pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis jiroveci (PCP) between two smoking categories. Studies were appraised for quality and combined using inverse variance meta-analysis.
Fourteen cohort and case-control studies were included. Assessment of outcome was good, but assessment of exposure status was poor. Current smokers were at higher risk of bacterial pneumonia than former smokers: HR 1.37 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 1.78). There was no evidence that former smokers were at higher risk than never smokers: HR 1.24 (95%CI: 0.96, 1.60). Current smokers were at higher risk of bacterial pneumonia than current non-smokers: HR of 1.73 (95%CI: 1.44, 2.06). There was no evidence that smoking increased the incidence of PCP. The HR for current versus non-smokers was 0.94 (95%CI: 0.79, 1.12), but from case-control studies the OR was 1.76 (95%CI: 1.25, 2.48) with heterogeneity. Confined to higher quality studies, the OR was 0.97 (95%CI: 0.81, 1.16). Residual confounding is possible, but available data suggest this is not an adequate explanation.
Smoking is a risk factor for bacterial pneumonia but not PCP and smoking cessation reduces this risk.
See related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/16
HIV; meta-analysis; pneumonia; smoking; smoking cessation
Extrapulmonary pneumocystosis is an exceedingly rare complication of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Prior to the advent of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic, only 16 cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in individuals who were immunocompromised by a variety of underlying diseases had been reported. Since the beginning of the HIV-1 and related PCP epidemic, at least 90 cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis have been reported. This review briefly presents a history of the discovery of P. carinii and its recognition as a human pathogen, the controversy regarding its taxonomy, and the epidemiology of this organism. A more detailed analysis of the incidence of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in HIV-1-infected individuals and its occurrence despite widespread prophylaxis for PCP with either aerosolized pentamidine or systemic dapsone-trimethoprim is presented. The clinical features of published cases of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in non-HIV-1-infected individuals are summarized and contrasted with those in HIV-1 infected individuals. The diagnosis of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis is discussed, and because clinical microbiologists and pathologists are the key individuals in establishing the diagnosis, the characteristic microscopic morphology of P. carinii as its appears when stained with a variety of stains is presented and reviewed. The review concludes with a brief discussion of treatments for extrapulmonary pneumocystosis.
BACKGROUND: The permeability of the alveolar-capillary barrier to technetium-99m labelled diethylenetriamine pentaacetate (99mTc DTPA) is known to be greatly increased in smokers, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Abnormal permeability of the alveolar epithelium as well as impaired surfactant function has been suggested. The purpose of this study was to examine transudation of urea and albumin into the alveoli and alveolar surfactant function in smokers and non-smokers and to relate these variables to the rate of alveolar-capillary transfer of 99mTc DTPA. METHODS: Standardised bronchoalveolar lavage was performed and the yield of urea and albumin measured in the lavage fluid. The integrity of the alveolar surfactant system was assessed by measurement of the surface activity and of the yield of phospholipids in alveolar lavage fluid. RESULTS: The mean decay constant for the pulmonary clearance of 99mTc DTPA was 0.028/min in the smokers and 0.009/min in the non-smokers. The recovery of albumin and urea in alveolar lavage fluid was very similar in the two groups. The surface activity of alveolar lavage fluid was lower in smokers than in non-smokers (minimum surface tension 37.9 versus 28.6 mN/m) and the yield of phospholipids was reduced (2.08 versus 3.86 mg). The rate constant for the pulmonary clearance of 99mTc DTPA correlated with the yield of phospholipids at bronchoalveolar lavage. CONCLUSIONS: The study shows that increased alveolar-capillary transfer of 99mTc DTPA in smokers is not accompanied by increased transudation of small or large molecules into the alveoli. The findings support the hypothesis that increased clearance of 99mTc DTPA in smokers is related to surfactant dysfunction.
BACKGROUND: An extrahuman reservoir of human pathogenic Pneumocystis carinii remains unknown. Host to host transmission has been described in animal studies and in cluster cases among immunodeficient patients. P carinii DNA has recently been detected in air filters from inpatient and outpatient rooms in departments of infectious diseases managing patients with P carinii pneumonia (PCP), suggesting the airborne route of transmission. Exposure of staff to P carinii may occur in hospital departments treating patients with PCP. METHODS: Exposure to P carinii was detected by serological responses to human P carinii by ELISA, Western blotting, and indirect immunofluorescence in 64 hospital staff with and 79 staff without exposure to patients with PCP from Denmark and Sweden. DNA amplification of oropharyngeal washings was performed on 20 Danish staff with and 20 staff without exposure to patients with PCP. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the frequency or level of antibodies to P carinii between staff exposed and those unexposed to patients with PCP. None of the hospital staff had detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings. CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference in antibodies and no detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings, which suggests that immunocompetent staff treating patients with PCP are not a potentially infectious source of P carinii for immunocompromised patients.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results in significant morbidity and mortality. Smoking has long been recognized as the primary risk factor for development of COPD, but factors determining the severity or pattern of disease in smokers are largely unknown. Recent interest has focused on the potential role of infectious agents and the associated host response in accelerating progression of airway obstruction or in perpetuating its progression following discontinuation of tobacco exposure. Pneumocystis jirovecii is a fungal pathogen that causes pneumonia in immunocompromised individuals. Recent evidence has linked this organism with COPD. Using sensitive molecular techniques, low levels of Pneumocystis have been detected in the respiratory tract of certain individuals and termed colonization. Several findings support the theory that colonization with Pneumocystis is involved in the “vicious circle” hypothesis of COPD in which colonization with organisms perpetuates an inflammatory and lung remodeling response. Pneumocystis colonization is more prevalent in smokers and in those with severe COPD. The presence of Pneumocystis in the lungs, even at low levels, produces inflammatory changes similar to those seen in COPD, with increases in numbers of neutrophils and CD8+ lymphocytes. HIV-infected subjects who have had PCP develop permanent airway obstruction, and HIV-infected patients have a high prevalence of both emphysema and Pneumocystis colonization. In addition, a non-human primate model of colonization shows development of airway obstruction and radiographic emphysema. Additional studies are needed to confirm the role of Pneumocystis in the pathogenesis of COPD, given that this agent might be a treatable co-factor in disease progression.
Pneumocystis; colonization; COPD; lung function
To determine whether older age continues to influence patterns of care and in-hospital mortality for hospitalized persons with HIV-related Pneumocustis carinii pneumonia (PCP), as determined in our prior study from the 1980s.
Retrospective chart review.
Patients (1,861) with HIV-related PCP at 78 hospitals in 8 cities from 1995 to 1997.
Medical record notation of possible HIV infection; alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient; CD4 lymphocyte count; presence or absence of wasting; timely use of anti-PCP medications; in-hospital mortality.
Compared to younger patients, patients ≥50 years of age were less likely to have HIV mentioned in their progress notes (70% vs 82%, P < .001), have mild or moderately severe PCP cases at admission (89% vs 96%, P < .002), receive anti-PCP medications within the first 2 days of hospitalization (86% vs 93%, P <.002), and survive hospitalization (82% vs 90%, P < .003). However, age was not a significant predicator of mortality after adjustment for severity of PCP and timeliness of therapy.
While inpatient PCP mortality has improved by 50% in the past decade, 2-fold age-related mortality differences persist. As in the 1980s, these differences are associated with lower rates of recognition of HIV, increased severity of illenss at admission, and delays in initiation of PCP-specific treatments among older individuals—factors suggestive of delayed recognition of HIV infection, pneumonia, and PCP, respectively. Continued vigilance for the possibility of HIV and HIV-related PCP among persons ≥50 years of age who present with new pulmonary symptoms should be encouraged.
HIV; Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia; age; quality of care; outcomes
Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly known as P. carinii f.sp. hominis) is an opportunistic fungus that causes Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised individuals. Pneumocystis jiroveci can be detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To investigate the clinical importance of a positive Pneumocystis-PCR among HIV-uninfected patients suspected of bacterial pneumonia, a retrospective matched case-control study was conducted.
Respiratory samples from 367 patients suspected of bacterial pneumonia were analysed by PCR amplification of Pneumocystis jiroveci. To compare clinical factors associated with carriage of P. jiroveci, a case-control study was done. For each PCR-positive case, four PCR-negative controls, randomly chosen from the PCR-negative patients, were matched on sex and date of birth.
Pneumocystis-DNA was detected in 16 (4.4%) of patients. The median age for PCR-positive patients was higher than PCR-negative patients (74 vs. 62 years, p = 0.011). PCR-positive cases had a higher rate of chronic or severe concomitant illness (15 (94%)) than controls (32 (50%)) (p = 0.004). Twelve (75%) of the 16 PCR positive patients had received corticosteroids, compared to 8 (13%) of the 64 PCR-negative controls (p < 0.001).
Detection of Pneumocystis-DNA was associated with a worse prognosis: seven (44%) of patients with positive PCR died within one month compared to nine (14%) of the controls (p = 0.01). None of the nine PCR-positive patients who survived had developed PCP at one year of follow-up.
Our data suggest that carriage of Pneumocystis jiroveci is associated with old age, concurrent disease and steroid treatment. PCR detection of P. jiroveci has low specificity for diagnosing PCP among patients without established immunodeficiency. Whether overt infection is involved in the poorer prognosis or merely reflects sub-clinical carriage is not clear. Further studies of P. jiroveci in patients receiving systemic treatment with corticosteroids are warranted.
BACKGROUND--In addition to the acute fall in carbon monoxide transfer factor (TLCO) associated with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) or other opportunistic lung infections, reduced TLCO occurs in HIV-I seropositive individuals without active pulmonary disease. Abnormal TLCO, in the absence of lung disease, may be a surrogate marker of HIV-I induced immunosuppression and, therefore, a predictor for a more rapid progression to AIDS. METHODS--Eighty four individuals with AIDS, who had regular pulmonary function tests before the diagnosis of AIDS was made, were identified from a cohort of patients with HIV-I infection. None had evidence of active pulmonary disease at the time of initial pulmonary function testing. The relation between the time taken to progress to AIDS and initial pulmonary function tests was examined with life table survival analysis. RESULTS--Patients with a TLCO value of < 80% of predicted normal (n = 46) progressed significantly faster to AIDS, with a median time of 8.0 months compared with 16.5 months for those with a TLCO value of > or = 80% (n = 38). When stratified by AIDS defining diagnosis (PCP or non-PCP), median time to PCP was also significantly related to initial TLCO values (TLCO of < 80% = 9.0 months, TLCO of > or = 80% = 19.0 months). Reductions in other measurements of lung function (FEV1, FVC, KCO) were not temporally associated with the development of AIDS. CONCLUSIONS--HIV-I seropositive individuals with TLCO values of < 80% predicted and no evidence of lung disease progress more rapidly to AIDS than those with TLCO values of > or = 80%.
While it is well-known that adjunctive corticosteroid use improves the outcome of moderate-to-severe Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PcP) in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), there are limited data on its efficacy in non-HIV-infected patients with PcP. Patients undergoing fiber-optic bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage for suspected PcP from January 2007 through December 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. We compared demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes in 88 non-HIV-infected patients with moderate-to-severe PcP with (n = 59) and without (n = 29) adjunctive corticosteroid use. Outcomes of PcP were assessed by respiratory failure and 30-day and 90-day all-cause mortality. Survival curves were analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method and estimated by the log rank test. All-cause mortality of moderate-to-severe PcP at 90 days was lower in the solid-organ transplant recipients than in all other patients (6/26 [23%] versus 34/62 [55%], respectively; P = 0.006), and mortality at 30 days was lower in patients with hematologic malignancies than in all other patients (4/26 [15%] versus 24/62 [39%], respectively; P = 0.03). The outcomes of PcP were not significantly different in moderate-to-severe PcP patients with and without adjunctive corticosteroid use, regardless of recent corticosteroid use. Survival analysis of PcP patients with and without corticosteroid use by the Kaplan-Meier method also did not reveal any difference (log rank test; P = 0.81). There again was no difference within the subgroup of PcP patients with solid-organ transplants. Adjunctive corticosteroid use may not improve the outcome of moderate-to-severe PcP in non-HIV-infected patients.
Seroepidemiologic studies of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in humans have been limited by inadequate reagents. We have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using three overlapping recombinant fragments of the human Pneumocystis major surface glycoprotein (MsgA, MsgB, and MsgC) for analysis of antibody responses in HIV-positive patients and healthy blood donors. HIV-positive patients had significantly higher antibody levels to all Msg fragments. Furthermore, HIV-positive patients who experienced a previous episode of PCP (PCP-positive) had higher level of antibodies to MsgC than patients who never had PCP. A significant association was found between ELISA antibody level and reactivity by Western blot in HIV-positive patients, especially those who were PCP-positive. Thus, this ELISA will be useful in studying serum antibody responses to Pneumocystis in different human populations.
Pneumocystis; Major surface glycoprotein; Infection; ELISA; HIV patients; Serum antibodies
BACKGROUND--Infection with Pneumocystis carinii typically results in a pneumonia which histologically is seen to consist of an eosinophilic foamy alveolar exudate associated with a mild plasma cell interstitial infiltrate. Special stains show that cysts of P carinii lie within the alveolar exudate. Atypical histological appearances may occasionally be seen, including a granulomatous pneumonia and diffuse alveolar damage. In these patients the clinical presentation may be atypical and results of investigations negative unless lung biopsies are performed and tissue obtained for histological examination. METHODS--The incidence and mode of presentation of histologically atypical pneumocystis pneumonia was studied in a cohort of HIV-I antibody positive patients. RESULTS--Over a 30 month period 138 patients had pneumocystis pneumonia, of whom eight (6%) had atypical histological appearances which were diagnosed (after negative bronchoalveolar lavage) by open lung biopsy in five, percutaneous biopsy in one, and at post mortem examination in two. Atypical appearances included granulomatous inflammation in four patients, "pneumocystoma" in two (one also had extrapulmonary pneumocystosis), bronchiolitis obliterans organising pneumonia in one patient, diffuse alveolar damage and subpleural cysts in one (who also had intrapulmonary cytomegalovirus infection), and extrapulmonary pneumocystosis in two patients. CONCLUSIONS--Various atypical histological appearances may be seen in pneumocystis pneumonia. Lung biopsy (either percutaneous or open) should be considered when bronchoalveolar lavage is repeatedly negative and evidence of P carinii should be sought, by use of special stains, in all lung biopsy material from HIV-I antibody positive patients.
AIM: To compare the results of DNA amplification by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with immunofluorescence staining for detecting Pneumocystis carinii in bronchoalveolar lavage specimens taken from symptomatic HIV seropositive patients with suspected P carinii pneumonia (PCP). METHODS: Bronchoalveolar lavage specimens were obtained from 28 symptomatic HIV seropositive patients. Specimens were examined for P carinii using immunofluorescence, and by DNA amplification with PCR to obtain results on gel electrophoresis (gel) and a more sensitive Southern hybridisation (blot) technique. Specimens positive by immunofluorescence and gel electrophoresis were serially diluted to a 10(-6) concentration and each dilution strength tested for P carinii using PCR to compare quantitatively immunofluorescence with PCR. RESULTS: Of the 28 specimens analysed, 18 were negative for P carinii by both immunofluorescence and PCR, two were positive only by the blot technique of PCR, four were equivocally positive and four unequivocally positive by immunofluorescence. Three of the four equivocally positive patients tested by immunofluorescence were negative for P carinii by PCR, although one was positive by PCR (blot) technique. This patient had clinically confirmed PCP. Of the four unequivocally positive patients tested by immunofluorescence, three were gel and blot positive by PCR and had PCP clinically, but one was negative by both gel and blot techniques, although the patient certainly had PCP on clinical grounds. This patient had received nine days of treatment with high dose co-trimoxazole before bronchoalveolar lavage specimens were obtained. The three specimens positive by gel and blot techniques remained gel positive down to dilutions of between 10(-4) and 10(-6). CONCLUSIONS: PCR results may become negative soon after starting treatment for PCP. Specimens should therefore be taken before, or soon after, starting treatment. PCR seems to be between 10(4) and 10(6) times more sensitive than immunofluorescence.