Article Text

PDF

Open lung biopsy for investigation of acute respiratory episodes in patients with HIV infection and AIDS.
  1. R F Miller,
  2. W B Pugsley,
  3. M H Griffiths
  1. Department of Medicine, University College London Medical School, UK.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND--Open lung biopsy (OLB) is rarely necessary for investigation of HIV positive patients with acute respiratory episodes because of the high yield from fibreoptic bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). METHODS--A retrospective review of OLB in HIV positive patients admitted to a specialist inpatient unit with acute respiratory symptoms was carried out in order to define clinical indications, diagnostic yield, impact on management, complications and outcome. RESULTS--OLB was performed in 23 patients; 21 had undergone one or more bronchoscopies with BAL (5 also had negative results from transbronchial biopsy). Indications for OLB were: Group A, 15 patients thought clinically to have pneumocystis pneumonia but not responding to treatment; Group B, 4 patients with focal chest radiographic abnormalities; Group C, 4 patients with diffuse radiographic abnormalities and miscellaneous conditions. Preoperative PaO2 (on air) ranged from 4.4 to 14.5 (mean = 9.5) kPa. The results of OLB were in Group A 5 patients had non specific interstitial pneumonitis (NIP), 1 also had Kaposi's sarcoma, 4 had pneumocystis pneumonia (1 also had bronchiolitis obliterans organising pneumonia [BOOP]), 3 had Kaposi's sarcoma and 1 had BOOP and emphysema, 1 had pulmonary infarction and no infection and 1 had normal lung tissue. In Group B diagnoses were NIP, B cell lymphoma, occult alveolar haemorrhage and Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia with BOOP; In Group C 2 patients had NIP and 2 had pneumocystis pneumonia (1 also had cytomegalovirus pneumonitis). All patients survived surgery and none required mechanical ventilation. OLB results significantly affected management; in Group A inappropriate treatment was discontinued in 11 patients found not to have pneumocystis pneumonia, and alternative therapy was begun in the 4 with pneumocystis and in Groups B and C 6 patients began specific therapy; unnecessary therapy was avoided in one and antimicrobial treatment was modified in one. CONCLUSIONS--Open lung biopsy in HIV positive patients with focal and diffuse radiographic abnormalities has a high diagnostic yield and low morbidity. This investigation should be considered in those with acute respiratory episodes and negative results from bronchoscopic investigations or who have contra-indications to this procedure.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.