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Unusual Radiographic Presentation of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in a Patient with AIDS.

  • Author(s): Block, Brian L
  • Mehta, Tejas
  • Ortiz, Gabriel M
  • Ferris, Sean P
  • Vu, Thienkhai H
  • Huang, Laurence
  • Cattamanchi, Adithya
  • et al.
Abstract

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) typically presents as an interstitial and alveolar process with ground glass opacities on chest computed tomography (CT). The absence of ground glass opacities on chest CT is thought to have a high negative predictive value for PCP in individuals with AIDS. Here, we report a case of PCP in a man with AIDS who presented to our hospital with subacute shortness of breath and a nonproductive cough. While his chest CT revealed diffuse nodular rather than ground glass opacities, bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsies confirmed the diagnosis of PCP and did not identify additional pathogens. PCP was not the expected diagnosis based on chest CT, but it otherwise fit well with the patient's clinical and laboratory presentation. In the era of combination antiretroviral therapy, routine prophylaxis for PCP, and increased use of computed tomography, it may be that PCP will increasingly present with nonclassical chest radiographic patterns. Clinicians should be aware of this presentation when selecting diagnostic and management strategies.

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