Extrapulmonary pneumocystosis: clinical features in human immunodeficiency virus infection

Medicine (Baltimore). 1990 Nov;69(6):392-8.


Pneumocystis carinii infection is reported with increasing frequency as a cause of disease outside of the respiratory tract in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Extrapulmonary pneumocystosis is not limited to patients in any discrete risk group for HIV infection. Patients with HIV infection who develop extrapulmonary pneumocystosis frequently do not have concurrent P. carinii pneumonia. Signs and symptoms of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis are nonspecific but when present are frequently referable to the tissues or organs involved. Extrapulmonary pneumocystosis can be diagnosed by examination of tissue biopsies from affected sites using standard histologic techniques. Therapy with antimicrobial agents used to treat P. carinii pneumonia has been effective in some patients. An association between use of aerosolized pentamidine for prevention of P. carinii pneumonia and development of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis has been suggested but remains unconfirmed. Other factors such as the use of zidovudine and duration of immunodeficiency may also be important to the pathogenesis of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis. Further studies are needed to better identify risk factors that may predispose patients to the development of extrapulmonary pneumocystosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Choroiditis / complications
  • Ear Canal / microbiology
  • Ear Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meninges / microbiology
  • Mycoses / complications*
  • Pneumocystis* / isolation & purification