The aim of this study was to assess the value of high-resolution CT in distinguishing between Pneumocystis carinii and non-Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in patients HIV-positive and high risk to have PCP. We performed a prospective study in 30 patients with <200 CD4 lymphocytes, clinical symptoms of pulmonary disease and chest X-ray non-conclusive for pulmonary infection. Evaluated CT findings included ground-glass opacities, reticulation, tree-in-bud appearance, consolidation, cystic lesions, bronchiectasis and lymphadenopathies. The diagnosis of "examination suggestive of PCP" was applied to cases showing a diffuse or predominant ground-glass pattern in the upper fields, associated or not with reticulations and small cystic lesions. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) for the diagnosis of PCP was 100, 83.3, 90.5 and 100%, respectively. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was not demonstrated in any of the cases classified as "examination not suggestive of PCP". Significant small airway disease was not observed in any of the PCP cases. We conclude that HRCT is a reliable method for differentiating PCP from other infectious processes in HIV-positive patients and a good method to rule our PCP. Its inclusion in the diagnostic algorithm of lung infections is justified in these patients.
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2003|
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
- High-resolutuion computed tomography
- Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia