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Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia

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Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia, Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia, Pneumocystis jiroveci, Pneumocystis carinii, PCP Pneumonia, Pneumocystis carinii infection

  • Epidemiology
  1. United States Incidence: 20,000 to 60,000 cases/year
  2. HIV without prophylaxis develops PCP sometime: 75-90%
  • Risk Factors
  1. HIV with CD4 Count related risk of Pneumocystis
    1. CD4 Count >200: Risk <1% over 6 months
    2. CD4 Count <200 (Accounts for 85-95% of cases)
      1. Risk 6% over 6 months
      2. Risk 18% at 1 year
  2. Immunosuppression in non-HIV conditions
    1. Solid organ or Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant recipients
    2. High dose Corticosteroids (Prednisone 20 mg or higher)
      1. Cancer Chemotherapy patients
      2. Rheumatologic Disease
    3. References
      1. Fillatre (2014) Am J Med 127(12): e11-7 +PMID: 25058862 [PubMed]
  • Pathophysiology
  1. Pneumocystis defies classification
    1. Both Protozoan and Fungal Characteristics
  2. Recently renamed as Pneumocystis jiroveci
  3. Ubiquitous organism
    1. Most humans and mammals exposed early in life
    2. Clinically Significant infection occurs in AIDS with CD4 Count <250 cell/ul
  4. Clinical infection may represent reactivation
  • Symptoms
  1. Symptoms usually develop over 1-2 weeks
    1. Typical Bacterial Pneumonia develops over 3-5 days
  2. Initial Symptoms (occur in 66%, often subtle)
    1. Fever
    2. Malaise
    3. Non-productive Cough
    4. Exertional Dyspnea
  3. Pronounced Symptoms
    1. Sputum production
    2. Chest Pain
    3. Chills
    4. Exertional Dyspnea
      1. Profound Hypoxia occurs with even just a few steps taken
  • Labs
  1. White Blood Cell Count Normal
    1. Elevated WBC Count in typical Bacterial Pneumonia
  2. Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)
    1. Increased in PCP Pneumonia
  3. Sputum induction
    1. Methods
      1. Sputum PCR (preferred)
      2. Sputum DFA
    2. Efficacy
      1. Sensitivity 80-90% for Pneumocystis
      2. Negative Predictive Value only 50-60%
    3. Examination stains
      1. Methenamine silver
      2. Giemsa stains
  4. Other methods
    1. Serum Beta D-Glucan
      1. High False Positive Rate
      2. Negative Predictive Value >95%
      3. Karageorgopoulos (2013) Clin Microbiol 19(1): 39-49 +PMID: 22329494 [PubMed]
  1. Diffuse bilateral Interstitial Infiltrates (80-95%)
    1. Seen in Tuberculosis
    2. Seen in Bacterial Pneumonia
    3. Bat winging appearance
  2. Focal infiltrates rarely seen with Pneumocystis
  3. Images
    1. RadPneumocystisPneumoniaMedPix1121.jpgFrom MedPix with permission.
    2. RadPneumocystisPneumoniaMedPix6563.jpgFrom MedPix with permission.
  • Diagnosis
  1. Clinical diagnosis
  2. Definitive diagnosis is typically by bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Management
  • General
  1. Treatment Duration for 21 days (followed by PCP Prophylaxis)
  2. Treatment protocols are based on level of illness (esp if PaO2 <70 mmHg)
  3. Initiate Antiretroviral therapy within 2 weeks of PCP diagnosis (HIV patients)
  • Management
  • First-line agents
  1. Duration: 21 days of treatment and then prophylaxis
  2. Not critically ill (PaO2 >70 mmHg) and able to take oral medications
    1. No Corticosteroids indicated
    2. Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) DS 2 tabs orally every 8 hours (15 mg/kg of trimethoprim/day)
      1. Adverse reactions occur in 40-60% within 3 weeks
    3. Alternative (Fewer dose limiting adverse reactions, but risk of Methemoglobinemia)
      1. Dapsone 100 mg orally every 24 hours AND Trimethoprim 5 mg/kg orally every 8 hours
  3. Critically ill with Hypoxia (PaO2 <70 mmHg or A-a Gradient >35) or unable to take oral medications
    1. Start Corticosteroids 15-30 min before antibiotics (see dosing below)
    2. Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) 15-20 mg/kg of trimethoprim/day IV divided every 6-8 hours
  • Management
  • Alternative Regimen
  1. Duration: 21 days of treatment and then prophylaxis
  2. Not critically ill (PaO2 >70 mmHg) and able to take oral medications
    1. No Corticosteroids indicated
    2. Clindamycin 600 mg IV or 300-400 mg PO every 6 hours AND
    3. Primquine 15-30 mg of based every 24 hours or Atovaquone 750 mg po bid
  3. Critically ill (PaO2 <70 mmHg or A-a Gradient >35) or unable to take oral medications
    1. Start Corticosteroids 15-30 min before antibiotics (see dosing below)
    2. Clindamycin 600 mg IV every 8 hours AND Primquine 15-30 mg of based every 24 hours OR
    3. Pentamidine 4 mg/kg/day IV (or IM)
  1. Efficacy
    1. Prevents alveolar inflammation and exudation
    2. Results from the killing of Pneumocystis organisms
    3. Reduces the risk of intubation and death by 50%
  2. Indications (based on Arterial Blood Gas)
    1. Arterial pO2 < 70 mmHg
    2. A-a Gradient > 35 mmHg on room air
  3. Dosing: Prednisone
    1. Start: 40 mg twice daily for 5 days
    2. Next: 40 mg every 24 hours for 5 days
    3. Taper: 20 mg every 24 hours for 11 days
  1. Indications
    1. CD4 Count <200 cells
    2. HIV patients with respiratory symptoms
  2. Duration
    1. Continue prophylaxis until CD4 Count >200 for at least 3 months
  3. First-Line Protocol
    1. Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)
      1. One DS or SS tab orally daily OR
      2. One DS 3 times weekly OR
  4. Alternative Protocols
    1. Pentamidine 300 mg in 6 ml sterile water aerosolized every 4 weeks OR
    2. Atovaquone 1500 mg orally every 24 hours with food OR
    3. Dapsone 200 mg and Pyrimethamine 75 mg AND Folinic Acid 25 mg once each week
  • Prognosis
  1. Treated appropriately: 60-90% survive
  2. Untreated: Uniformly fatal
  • References
  1. Gilbert (2017) Sanford Guide (accessed IOS version 8/3/2017)
  2. Weller (2001) BMJ 322:1350-4 [PubMed]