Influence of type of cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation on clinical presentation of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in cancer patients

Torres, H.; Chemaly, R.; Storey, R.; Aguilera, E.; Nogueras, G.; Safdar, A.; Rolston, K.; Raad, I.; Kontoyiannis, D.
June 2006
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases;Jun2006, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p382
Academic Journal
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is a common infection in patients with AIDS but an infrequent cause of pneumonia in cancer patients. Little is known about the impact of cancer type and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation on the presentation and outcome of P. jiroveci pneumonia in cancer patients. A retrospective cohort study of all patients with cancer and P. jiroveci pneumonia cared for at The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center during 1990–2003 was conducted. Eighty episodes of P. jiroveci pneumonia in 79 patients were identified. In most (67%) episodes, patients had a hematologic malignancy. In 23 (29%) episodes, patients had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Twenty-seven percent of patients with histopathologically confirmed P. jiroveci pneumonia had nodular infiltrates on the radiographic study. Pleural effusion and pneumothorax were more common in patients with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation than in those with solid tumors. Clinical suspicion of P. jiroveci pneumonia was less common in patients with nodular infiltrates than in those without such a radiographic finding (7 vs. 39%; p=0.002). Twenty-six of 76 (34%) patients with data available died of P. jiroveci pneumonia. Predictors of death by univariate analysis included older age, tachypnea, high APACHE II score, use of mechanical ventilation or vasopressors, lower arterial pH level, absence of interstitial component, pneumothorax, and comorbid conditions (all p<0.05). Multivariate analysis identified the use of mechanical ventilation as an independent predictor of death. Death attributable to P. jiroveci pneumonia appeared to be higher in patients with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The clinical presentation of P. jiroveci pneumonia in cancer patients may be affected by the category of cancer and the history of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. P. jiroveci pneumonia remains a rare yet severe infection in cancer patients.


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