Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with hematologic malignancies: a descriptive study

J Infect. 2003 Jul;47(1):19-27. doi: 10.1016/s0163-4453(03)00038-0.


Objectives. A retrospective multicentric study was conducted over a five-year period to evaluate the clinical and laboratory characteristics and outcome of patients with proven Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) complicating hematologic malignancies.Results. The study included 60 HIV-negative patients with 18 non-Hodgkin's malignant lymphoma (30%), 13 chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (21.7%), 10 acute leukemia (16.6%), 5 multiple myeloma (8.3%), 4 Waldenström's diseases (6.6%), 4 chronic myeloid leukemia (6.6%), 3 myelodysplasia (5%), 2 Hodgkin's diseases (3.3%) and 1 thrombopenia. Bronchoalveolar lavage was diagnostic in all patients. Forty-nine patients received cytotoxic drugs (81.7%), 25 (41.7%) a long-term corticotherapy and 15 (25%) underwent bone marrow transplantation. Twenty-seven patients (45%) required admission in the intensive care unit, 35 (58.3%) received an adjunctive corticotherapy and 18 mechanical ventilation (30%). Twenty patients (33.3%) died of PCP. A previous long-term corticotherapy (p=0.04), high respiratory (p=0.05) and pulse rates (p=0.02), elevated C reactive protein (p=0.01) and mechanical ventilation (OR=13.37; IC: 1.9-50) were associated with a poor prognosis. Adjunctive corticotherapy did not modify the prognosis.Conclusions. These results suggest that PCP can occur during the course of various hematologic malignancies, not only lymphoproliferative disorders. Prognosis remains poor. The diagnosis should be advocated more frequently and earlier to improve the prognosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric