Regular Article| Volume 95, ISSUE 8, P661-665, August 2001

Independent risk of mechanical ventilation for AIDS-related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia associated with bronchoalveolar lavage neutrophilia

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      The use of mechanical ventilation (MV) for AIDS-related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) has varied over time. The introduction of adjunctive corticosteroid therapy has changed the patophysiology of PCP. In the present study, we attempted to identify factors predictive of severe respiratory failure requiring MV amongst patients with PCP treated in the era of adjunctive corticosteroid therapy. Furthermore, we studied factors associated with survival in relation to MV. Of 170 consecutive patients with AIDS-related PCP, 18 (11%) required MV. Thirteen of 18 ventilated patients died (72%). In a logistic regression analysis, higher age, increased brnchooalveolar lavage (BAL) neutrophilia and a positive BAL cyto megalovirus CMV culture were associated with the need of MV. In multivariate analyses, only BAL neutrophilia remained independently predictive of mechanical ventilation. In conclusion, short-term mortality remained high after the introduction of adjunctive corticosteroid therapy. BAL neutrophilia may be a useful prognostic marker to identify patients at high risk of requiring mechanical ventilation.



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