Pneumocystis pneumonia with respiratory failure in a HIV-negative patient following short course of low-dose to moderate-dose prednisolone for a dermatological condition

BMJ Case Rep. 2022 Jun 8;15(6):e249346. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2022-249346.


A woman in her 80s was admitted with 5 days of progressive dyspnoea and hypoxic respiratory failure, in the setting of receiving a 3-week course of low-dose to moderate-dose prednisolone for a pruritic skin rash. Her medical history was not significant for major medical comorbidities or any other clear risk factors for secondary immunosuppression apart from advanced age. CT revealed widespread small-airway and parenchymal disease with ground-glass opacities consistent with atypical respiratory infection. Sputum PCR confirmed Pneumocystis jirovecii She was diagnosed with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in the context of her clinical presentation, radiological features and PCR result. Her HIV status was negative. The patient was treated with 4 weeks of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and 3 weeks of adjunctive prednisolone. She initially required high-dependency unit support with non-invasive ventilation. In this case report, we review the literature regarding PJP in the dermatology setting.

Keywords: Dermatology; Infectious diseases; Pneumonia (infectious disease).

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • Humans
  • Pneumocystis carinii*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis* / complications
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Insufficiency* / complications


  • Prednisolone