Bronchitis mimicking opportunistic lung infection in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection/AIDS.N Y State J Med. 1992 Jul; 92(7):297-300.NY
Purulent bronchitis was identified in 19 of 422 patients undergoing fiberoptic bronchoscopy during a 32-month period because of suspicion of an opportunistic lung infection complicating acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or human immunodeficiency virus infection. Five patients had Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, but other opportunistic lung infections were excluded in the remaining 14 patients. Characteristics of these 14 patients included fever (greater than 38.3 degrees C), cough, and dyspnea in 14 of 14 patients; purulence of expectorated sputum (11/14); and widened alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient (13/14). Rapid (2 +/- 1.4 days) clinical response (defervescence and resolution of pulmonary symptoms) occurred with antibiotic therapy in 10 of 14 patients. In three patients, there was no improvement, and adult respiratory distress syndrome developed. Bacterial isolates from bronchoalveolar lavage included Streptococcus viridans (n = 12), Haemophilus influenzae (n = 7), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 3). Roentgenographic features of bronchiectasis were present in seven patients. Differential cell counts revealed greater than 50% neutrophils in the bronchial washings of all patients with purulent bronchitis. Neutrophil percentages in bronchoalveolar lavage were as follows: patient with purulent bronchitis without P carinii pneumonia (n = 14), 54.53% +/- 29.18%; patients with purulent bronchitis and concomitant P carinii pneumonia (n = 5), 62% +/- 31.9%. In a control group of 17 patients with P carinii pneumonia who did not have purulent bronchitis, the neutrophil percentage was 6.8% +/- 6.17% (p = less than 0.00001, t-test). Purulent bronchitis appears to be a distinct, treatable entity in patients with HIV infection and may accompany bacterial pneumonia, bronchiectasis, and P carinii pneumonia.