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Alveolar damage in AIDS-related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

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OBJECTIVE: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is the most common and serious of the pulmonary complications of AIDS. Despite this, many basic aspects in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated P carinii pneumonia are unknown. We therefore undertook a light and electron microscopic study of transbronchial biopsy specimens to compare pathologic features of P carinii pneumonia and other HIV-related lung diseases. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Thirty-seven consecutive HIV-infected patients undergoing a diagnostic bronchoscopy. RESULTS: P carinii pneumonia was characterized by an increase in inflammation, edema, exudate, fibrosts, type II pneumocyte proliferation, and cellular infiltration of the alveolar wall when compared with other lung diseases (all p < 0.05). Electron microscopy showed apposition of the trophozoite to the type I pneumocyte. Erosion of type I pneumocytes was observed in 13 of 15 patients with P carinii pneumonia, whereas none without P carinii pneumonia had this finding (p < 0.05). Erosion of the type II pneumocyte was not observed. CONCLUSION: Inflammation, interstitial fibrosis, and alveolar epithelial erosion are characteristic features of P carinii pneumonia. The changes may form the pathologic basis for the respiratory failure seen in patients with P carinii pneumonia. Electron microscopy did not show any diagnostie advantage over conventional light microscopy using routine stains.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftChest
Vol/bind111
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)1193-1199
Antal sider7
ISSN0012-3692
StatusUdgivet - 1997

ID: 34128705