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Crit Care Med. 1985 Apr;13(4):237-43.

Acute respiratory failure due to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia: clinical, radiographic, and pathologic course.


The clinical, radiographic, and pathologic correlates of acute respiratory failure due to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia were studied in 12 renal transplant patients treated with cyclosporin (CS) and prednisone. Six patients required only supplemental oxygen, while the other six patients developed the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation despite similar predisposing factors and prompt initiation of therapy. Ten (83%) patients survived. Increased frequency of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR6 was noted in six of the 11 patients tested. The resolution of radiographic infiltrates was significantly slower in ARDS patients; however, there was no apparent difference in the severity of early alveolar damage between the two groups. There was also no association between the development of ARDS due to P. carinii pneumonia and the mean daily dose of CS and prednisone, the presence of cytomegalovirus infection or pneumonia, HLA-DR6 antigen, or initial hypoxemia.

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