Diagnostic Techniques For Pneumocystis Carinii Infection

Technique

Yield

Complications

Comments*

Routine sputum

Poor

Rare

Cultures needed

Induced sputum

30%-75%

Rare

First choice; excellent in AIDS

Transtracheal aspiration

Fair (with experience)

Common: bleeding; subcutaneous air

Rarely worthwhile

Gallium scan

Nonspecific

Injection site

Positive in >95% of infected patients

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)

>50% (>95% in AIDS)

Bleeding, aspiration fever, bronchospasm

Wedged terminal BAL with immunofluorescence

BAL/brushing

As for BAL alone

As for BAL

Not useful for P. carinii

BAL/transbronchial biopsy

Over 90% (all patients)

See BAL; pneumothorax

Impression smears; cultures/pathology

Open lung biopsy

Over 95% (all patients)

Anesthesia, air leakage, altered respiration,

"Gold standard" noninfectious/infectious processes;

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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