0
Abstract: Case Reports |

Pneumocystosis Diagnosed by Bronchoalveolar Lavage in an Immunocompetent Polysubstance Abuser FREE TO VIEW

Jeanne B. Damian, MD*; Jinesh P. Mehta, MD; Sumit Mohan, MD, MPH; Sami A. Nachman, MD; John Salazar-Schicchi, MD
Author and Funding Information

Harlem Hospital Center, New York, NY


Chest


Chest. 2004;126(4_MeetingAbstracts):975S-a-976S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.4_MeetingAbstracts.975S-a
Text Size: A A A
Published online

INTRODUCTION:  Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly Pneumocystis carinii), the pneumocystis species that affects humans, is a fungal organism known to cause life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Studies performed in immunosuppressed animals indicate that an immune defect of T cell function is a prerequisite for the initiation of an infection. Although symptomatic Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) is rare in the immunocompetent patients, evidence indicates that seroconversion has occurred in most persons by a young age. This implies that subclinical infection is common and that both de novo infection and reactivation of latent infection are important factors in the pathogenesis of PCP.

CASE PRESENTATION:  The patient is a 40-year-old man with a long standing history of cocaine, tobacco and alcohol abuse who presented with a non-productive cough, progressively worsening shortness of breath and dyspnea on exertion of 3 weeks duration. He reported having unprotected sex with multiple partners. Physical examination revealed a well-nourished tachypneic male with crackles over the right lower lobe, regular heart sounds, with absence of pedal edema and no jugular venous distension. Chest X-ray showed cardiomegaly with diffusely increased interstitial markings with bullous changes in the right upper lobe. ABG on 50% FiO2 showed a PaO2 of 63 mmHg. Urine toxicology was positive for cocaine. Echocardiogram demonstrated a dilated LV with reduced ejection fraction. Patient was started on heart failure treatment, which failed to relieve his symptoms. Due to his risk factors for HIV, a diagnosis of PCP was entertained. Subsequently the patient was started on trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and prednisone resulting in rapid clinical improvement. His HIV test was negative and his CD4 count was more than 700 cells/μL on two separate occasions. BAL with silver stain was positive for P jiroveci confirming the diagnosis of PCP. Surprisingly however the LDH was only 157 units/L.

DISCUSSIONS:  The relative risk of infection with Pneumocystis is predictable in most hosts in which this infection occurs. Though P jiroveci DNA has been detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the general population, definitive diagnosis of PCP depends on the identification of characteristic organisms seen on examination of pulmonary specimens. Though at risk for immunosupression, our patient was noted to be HIV negative on two separate occasions with a normal CD4 cell count. BAL taken from our patient demonstrated P jiroveci cysts consistent with the clinical presentation of marked hypoxemia, dyspnea and cough out of proportion to physical or radiological findings with no evidence of congenital, induced or acquired immunosupression. His rapid and complete response to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and prednisone further support the diagnosis of PCP.

CONCLUSION:  Our case demonstrates an unusual presentation of PCP in light of the patient’s immune status. This case may represent a rare manifestation of PCP in an immunocompetent individual, or suggest an immunodeficiency state not recognizable by measurement of merely the CD4 count.

DISCLOSURE:  J.B. Damian, None.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

4:15 PM - 5:45 PM

References

Maskell NA et al. Asymptomatic Carriage of Pneumocystis jiroveci in Subjects Undergoing Bronchoscopy: A Prospective Study.Thorax.2003Jul;58(7):594–7.
 
Sing A et al. Pneumocystis carnii Carriage in Immunocompetent Patients with Primary Pulmonary Disorders as Detected by Single or Nested PCR.J Clin Microbiol.1999Oct;37(10):3409–10.
 
Oz HS, Hughes WT. Search for Pneumocystis carnii DNA in Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract of Humans.Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis.2000Jul;37(3):161–4.
 

Figures

Tables

References

Maskell NA et al. Asymptomatic Carriage of Pneumocystis jiroveci in Subjects Undergoing Bronchoscopy: A Prospective Study.Thorax.2003Jul;58(7):594–7.
 
Sing A et al. Pneumocystis carnii Carriage in Immunocompetent Patients with Primary Pulmonary Disorders as Detected by Single or Nested PCR.J Clin Microbiol.1999Oct;37(10):3409–10.
 
Oz HS, Hughes WT. Search for Pneumocystis carnii DNA in Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract of Humans.Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis.2000Jul;37(3):161–4.
 
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543