To assess the accuracy of pulmonary lavage in diagnosing pneumonia due to Pneumocystis, we used animals as a model and then prospectively studied 33 immunosuppressed adults with diffuse pulmonary infiltrates. In rats treated with cortisone, Pneumocystis organisms could be found in the effluent from lavage as early as in sections of pulmonary tissue, and the effluent from lavage remained diagnostic throughout the ten weeks of observation. Subsegmental lavage in adult patients was performed through the wedged fiberoptic bronchoscope. Pneumocystis organisms were demonstrated in seven patients by lavage, and no false-negative results were recorded. Pneumocystis organisms were readily identified among the sheets of alveolar macrophages seen in smears of the effluent from lavage that were stained with methenamine silver. Subsegmental lavage via the fiberoptic bronchoscope is an accurate and safe technique for establishing the diagnosis of pneumonia due to Pneumocystis in patients whose respiratory embarrassment or thrombocytopenia makes biopsy of the lung hazardous.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine