Pneumocystis Jirovecii Pneumonia

Original Editor - Donald John Auson Top Contributors - Kim Jackson

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Pneumocystis Jirovecii Pneumonia (PJP) was previously called as Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP), it is one of the most common opportunistic fungal infection in immuno-compromised conditions such as haematological malignancy, congenital immunodeficiency, organ transplantation, immunosuppressive therapy, under medication and predominantly in HIV/AIDS. [1]

Epidemiology[edit | edit source]

PJP has a high incidence before the advent of prophylaxis treatment and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). A study about the epidemiology of PJP showed that the incidence has significantly decreased both for the adult and pediatric population.[2]  However, the same study showed that there is difference with the prevalence of PJP in industrialized countries, such as those in Europe and North America, and in developing countries , such as in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, wherein the former has a continuous decline while the latter is at a greater risk of incidence.[2]

A recent nationwide study in Spain, conducted by Pereira-Diaz et al, reported that PJP is an emerging disease in patients without HIV infection of which risk factors include haematological neoplasms, chronic lung diseases and, non-hematological cancers with high mean mortality and hospitalization costs.[3]

Etiology[edit | edit source]

The pathogen responsible for PJP is Pneumocystis Jirovecii, an organism classified as a fungus.

Pathophysiology[edit | edit source]

PJP Pathophysiology 3.jpg

PJP Pathophysiology

Signs and Symptoms[edit | edit source]

  • Subacute onset exertional dyspnea[4]
  • Dry and non-productive cough[4]
  • Fever or subfebrile temperatures[4]
  • Chest pain
  • Tachypnea
  • Tachycardia
  • Cyanosis
  • Weight loss

Diagnostic Procedures[edit | edit source]

Diagnosis of PJP relies on combination of laboratory findings and diagnostic imaging together with physical examination and history-taking.

Laboratory procedures and findings pertinent to PJP diagnosis include:[edit | edit source]

  • Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)- more accurate way to diagnose PJP[5]
  • (1–3)-β-d-glucan (BG) -most reliable serologic biomarker for PJP diagnosis[6]
  • Krebs von den Lungen-6 antigen (KL-6)- together with BG, is the most accurate serologic apptoach for PJP diagnosis[6]
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)[6]
  • S-adenosyl methionine (SAM)[6]
  • Sputum induction

Imaging studies used in the diagnosis of PJP include:[edit | edit source]

Chest CT Scan- most pertinent finding is ground glass opacity (GGO) indicative of alveolar subtotal consolidation[7]

Chest Radiography- nonspecific, can be normal, less common patterns have been reported, including lobar infiltrates, pulmonary nodules, and pneumatoceles and other cystic changes.[8]

Differential Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

Thorough evaluation that includes physical examination, laboratory findings and/or imaging studies are warranted in order to make a specific diagnosis of PJP and to differentiate it from other conditions with similar presentation, which include but not limited to:

Prognosis[edit | edit source]

A meta-analysis conducted by Liu et al, stated that risk factors associated with increased mortality rate including old age, female sex, longer time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis, respiratory failure, solid tumors, high lactate dehydrogenase, low serum albumin, bacterial, and aspergillus co-infection, etc.[9] The findings of their study revealed that even in non-HVI patients, mortatlity rate for PJP infection is high.[9]

A predictive model to evaluate mortality in HIV/AIDS patients with PCP was constructed by Wu L. et al, based on routine laboratory and clinical parameters, which may be a simple tool for physicians to assess the prognosis in HIV/AIDS patients with PCP in China. [10] This includes 7 predictors, including LDH >350U/L, HR>130 times/min, room air PaO2 <70mmHg, later admission to ICU, Anemia (HGB≤90g/L), CD4<50cells/ul, and development of a pneumothorax. [10]

Pharmacological Management[edit | edit source]

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX)-  first-line agent for the treatment of mild to severe PJP[8]
  • Atovaquone- one of the oral treatment alternatives for mild and moderate PCP[8]
  • Pentamidine isethionate- preferred alternative drug regimen to TMP-SMX[1][8]
  • Clindamycin and Primaquine-good alternative choice for treatment of mild to moderate PJP[1]
  • Caspofungin[1]

Prophylaxis[edit | edit source]

  • TMP-SMX- recommended prophylactic agent[8]
  • Aerosolized pentamidine[8]
  • Atovaquone[8]
  • Dapsone[8]

Physiotherapy Intervention[edit | edit source]

Physiotherapy interventions for the treatment of PJP would be the same as treating Pneumonia. This includes:

See also Pulmonary Rehabilitation

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Kante, Meenakshi & Racherla, Rishi & Usha, Kalawat. (2019). Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia: A Revisit to the Old Malady. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH retrieved from doi:10.7860/JCDR/2019/42636.13318
  2. 2.0 2.1 Morris A, Lundgren JD, Masur H, et al. Current epidemiology of Pneumocystis pneumonia. Emerg Infect Dis. 2004;10(10):1713–1720 retrieved from doi:10.3201/eid1010.030985
  3. Pereira-Díaz E, Moreno-Verdejo F, de la Horra C, Guerrero JA, Calderón EJ, Medrano FJ. Changing Trends in the Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Spain. Front Public Health. 2019;7:275. Published 2019 Oct 4 retrieved from doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00275
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Salzer H, J, F, Schäfer G, Hoenigl M, Günther G, Hoffmann C, Kalsdorf B, et al: Clinical, Diagnostic, and Treatment Disparities between HIV-Infected and Non-HIV-Infected Immunocompromised Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia. Respiration 2018;96:52-65 retrieved from doi: 10.1159/000487713
  5. Alanio A, Bretagne S. Pneumocystis jirovecii detection in asymptomatic patients: what does its natural history tell us?. F1000Res. 2017;6:739. Published 2017 May 23 retrieved from doi:10.12688/f1000research.10619.1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Esteves F., Calé S. S., Badura R., De Boer M. G., Maltez F., Calderon E. J., et al. (2015). Diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia: evaluation of four serologic biomarkers. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 21:379.e1–e10 retrieved from doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2014.11.025
  7. Ebner L, Walti LN, Rauch A, et al. Clinical Course, Radiological Manifestations, and Outcome of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in HIV Patients and Renal Transplant Recipients. PLoS One. 2016;11(11):e0164320. Published 2016 Nov 8 retrieved from doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164320
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Tasaka, S. (2015). Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Human Immunodeficiency Virus–infected Adults and Adolescents: Current Concepts and Future Directions. Clinical Medicine Insights: Circulatory, Respiratory and Pulmonary Medicine retrieved from doi: 10.4137/CCRPM.S23324
  9. 9.0 9.1 Liu Y, Su L, Jiang SJ, Qu H. Risk factors for mortality from pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in non-HIV patients: a meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2017;8(35):59729–59739. Published 2017 Aug 4 retrieved from doi:10.18632/oncotarget.19927
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wu L, Zhang Z, Wang Y,Hao Y, Wang F, Gao G, et al. A Model to Predict In-Hospital Mortality in HIV/AIDS Patients with Pneumocystis Pneumonia in China: The Clinical Practice in Real World retrieved from doi: 10.1155/2019/6057028