The findings of surgical lung biopsy in HIV patients in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Ashfaq Ahmad, Shafeeq Khan, Ayman O. Soubani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. Surgical lung biopsy (SLB) is rarely necessary in the evaluation of pulmonary infiltrates in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The aim of this study is to describe the findings of SLB in a recent cohort of HIV-infected patients with unexplained pulmonary infiltrates, and determine the impact of this procedure on management and outcome of these patients. Methods. We used a retrospective review of medical records for this study. Results. Twenty-six patients who underwent SLB where evaluated. The procedure was performed either by video-assisted thoracoscopy, in 42% of the cases, or by thoracotomy in 58%. Eleven patients (42%) had focal infiltrates, and 15 (58%) had diffuse infiltrates. There were 31 diagnoses in the 26 patients; 26 (84%) were specific and 5(16%) were nonspecific. The most common specific diagnoses were infection (58%), malignancy (16%), and inflammatory conditions (10%). Pneumocystis carinii, alone or in combination with other conditions, was the most common diagnosis of all biopsies (34%). Surgical lung biopsy led to a change in management in 17 patients (65%), and was associated with complications in 4 patients (15%). The in-hospital mortality rate was 27%. Conclusions. Surgical lung biopsy is a relatively safe procedure, and provides a specific diagnosis in the majority of patients with HIV infection and unexplained pulmonary infiltrates. Pneumocystis carinii alone or in combination with other conditions is the most common finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1862-1865
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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