We asked whether the increased number of pneumothoraces described in AIDS patients was associated with P carinii itself or represented a risk for all patients with AIDS. For example, other potential risk factors for pneumothorax in these patients include intravenous drug use, invasive diagnostic procedures, other opportunistic pulmonary infections with subsequent lung destruction, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and administration of medications used in the treatment of AIDS patients with PCP.
This study corroborates the association of pneumothorax in AIDS patients with PCP previously reported.’ In addition, we more specifically documented the actual incidence of pneumothorax with PCP and also analyzed the incidence of pneumothorax in a group of AIDS patients without PCP. The absence of this pulmonary complication in AIDS patients without PCP suggests that infection with the organism itself or associated pathogenetic mechanisms account for the development of the pneumothoraces. A recent review of roentgenographic patterns in AIDS patients with PCP supports this notion. Previously, the development of pneumatoceles has usually been associated with Staphylococcus aureus.
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