Indications for and Diagnostic Efficacy of Open-Lung Biopsy in the Patient with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Harvey I. Pass, Dorothy Potter, James Shelhammer, Abe Macher, Frederick P. Ognibene, Dan L. Longo, Edward Gelmann, Henry Masur, Jack A. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pulmonary infiltrates in the patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may be associated with a spectrum of unusual neoplastic and infectious process. Transbronchial biopsy frequently reveals the cause of these infiltrates; however, when transbronchial biopsy is nondiagnostic or contraindicated, or if the patient fails to improve after a diagnostic transbronchial biopsy, further investigation is warranted to direct appropriate therapy. Efficacy of 23 open-lung biopsies in 19 AIDS patients with pulmonary infiltrates was evaluated to define the indications for and the diagnostic yield of open-lung biopsy. Pulmonary infiltrates were recognized for a mean duration (± standard error) of 16 ± 2 days before open-lung biopsy and were associated with fever and cough. These patients did not have prior transbronchial biopsy, and open-lung biopsy was diagnostic in all of these. Prior transbronchial biopsy performed in the remaining 16 patients was nondiagnostic in 10. Open-lung biopsy was diagnostic in 70% of these patients (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, 2 patients; Kaposi's sarcoma, 3 patients; Kaposi's sarcoma and Legionella pneumophila, 1 patient; cytomegalovirus, 1 patient). The other 6 patients having a previous diagnostic transbronchial biopsy failed to improve with therapy, and open-lung biopsy resulted in a therapeutic change in 67% of these patients. Two deaths were attributable to open-lung biopsy in patients with postoperative thrombocytopenic hemorrhage. Open-lung biopsy should be performed in AIDS patients when transbronchial biopsy is nondiagnostic or contraindicated, or in patients who fail to improve with appropriate therapy after diagnostic trans-bronchial biopsy, especially in patients with Kaposi's sarcoma. The diagnostic yield will be high, and major therapeutic changes will be instituted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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