Study Objectives: To determine and compare the incidence of concurrent bacterial lung infection in intubated and nonintubated patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) requiring medical intensive care unit (MICU) admission for support of their respiratory function. Design: Retrospective review of medical records. Setting: A large university hospital and AIDS treatment center. Patients: All AIDS/PCP patients admitted to the MICU for support of oxygenation and/or ventilation between 1985 and 1989. Survival was defined as discharge from the hospital; nonsurvival was defined as death any time during the hospitalization. Patients with acute spinal cord injury (SCI) were used as controls to determine the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia in ICU patients of similar age without AIDS. Measurements and Results: Twenty-nine AIDS/PCP patients met study criteria; eight (28 percent) were survivors and 21 (72 percent) were nonsurvivors. There was no significant difference in duration of intubation or duration of ICU stay between survivors and nonsurvivors with or without intubation. The incidence of bacterial concurrent lung infection (CLI) in AIDS/PCP patients overall was 7 percent and in intubated AIDS/PCP patients it was 10 percent. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of bacterial CLI between the survivors and nonsurvivors or between intubated and nonintubated patients with AIDS/PCP. The incidence of nosocomial pneumonia in SCI overall was 17 percent and in intubated SCI patients it was 30 percent. Conclusions: The incidence of bacterial lung infections in our retrospective study of AIDS patients with PCP is remarkably less than in the general ICU population with respiratory failure and in our control patients with SCI, although the differences did not attain statistical significance. This finding may be related to antimicrobial therapy directed against P carinii. Endotracheal intubation in patients with AIDS and PCP, who were undergoing appropriate antimicrobial therapy, did not result in a significantly higher incidence of bacterial lung infections than in those who were not intubated. There was no significant difference in the incidence of bacterial lung infections between those AIDS/PCP patients who survived episodes of severe respiratory failure and those who did not. Endotracheal intubation should not be delayed or withheld from this patient population due to concerns of pulmonary bacterial superinfection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine