Approach to the patient with pulmonary disease Journal Article


Authors: Vander Els, N. J.; Stover, D. E.
Article Title: Approach to the patient with pulmonary disease
Abstract: The approach to the HIV-infected patient with pulmonary disease is summarized by the algorithms in Figures 3 and 4. These are not intended to be followed in a rigid step wise fashion. Rather, the practitioner's knowledge of the patient with his or her accompanying medical risks influences the path taken, including the depth and the speed of the evaluation. For example, the patient with cough who is afebrile and breathing at 18 breaths a minute, with a normal chest radiograph and a CD4 count of 350 cells/mm3, is reasonably treated with a macrolide or cephalosporin for bacterial bronchitis and clinical follow-up while awaiting cultures (see Fig. 4). A febrile patient with a cough productive of thin mucus, but known to have a CD4 count of 60 cells/mm3 should be started on anti-PCP therapy while being evaluated for PCP with an induced sputum and if nondiagnostic, a bronchoscopy despite a normal chest radiograph. Screening can be as simple as placing an oximeter on the patient's finger in the clinic. If the oxygen saturation of a patient with a normal chest radiograph is low, then the patient should be hospitalized and begun on treatment for PCP while diagnostic evaluation is initiated. If the oxygen saturation is normal, the patient can be exercised to elicit desaturation. If there is no desaturation, PCP is unlikely. If the results are equivocal (i.e., a decrease in saturation, but less than 3%), rest and exercise arterial blood gases can be performed, along with a DL(CO). Gallium scanning can be done in patients known to have abnormal DL(CO) or those who cannot exercise. Patients with focal infiltrates who have acute onset of symptoms (see Fig. 4) commonly have bacterial infections, but the possibility of PCP or TB should not be dismissed. Induced sputum should be examined if TB or PCP is suspected. Patients who are severely ill might go quickly to bronchoscopy without awaiting improvement on empiric therapy. The patient with diffuse infiltrates (see Fig. 4) needs no screening because the presence of disease is apparent from the radiograph. The diagnostic path quickly leads to bronchoscopy for these patients and the initiation of therapy for PCP when suspected. In patients with known pulmonary KS, gallium scanning can be helpful to rule out acute infection, but bronchoscopy is warranted if the patient is severely ill, or at high risk for PCP. This approach should avoid unnecessary procedures in patients with simple bacterial infections, without missing opportunistic infections and tumors.
Keywords: review; human immunodeficiency virus infection; computer assisted tomography; lung disease; thoracotomy; pneumocystis pneumonia; prophylaxis; bronchoscopy; thorax radiography; lung biopsy; lung function test; thoracoscopy; lymphocyte count; tuberculosis; blood gas analysis; transbronchial biopsy; pleura disease; pulse oximetry; lung scintiscanning; priority journal; sputum examination
Journal Title: Clinics in Chest Medicine
Volume: 17
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0272-5231
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.  
Date Published: 1996-12-01
Start Page: 767
End Page: 785
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/s0272-5231(05)70346-4
PUBMED: 9016378
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: Review -- Export Date: 22 November 2017 -- Source: Scopus
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