Chest X-ray features of HIV-associated pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: The performance of chest x-ray (CXR) features for Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) diagnosis has been evaluated in small studies. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to describe CXR changes in adults with HIV-associated laboratory-confirmed PCP, comparing these with non-PCP respiratory disease. METHODS: We searched databases for studies reporting CXR changes in people >15 years old with HIV and laboratory-confirmed PCP and those with non-PCP respiratory disease. CXR features were grouped using consensus terms. Proportions were pooled and odds ratios (ORs) generated using random-effects meta-analysis, with subgroup analyses by CD4 count, study period, radiology review method, and study region. RESULTS: Fifty-one studies (with 1821 PCP and 1052 non-PCP cases) were included. Interstitial infiltrate (59%; 95% CI, 52%–66%; 36 studies, n = 1380; I2 = 85%) and ground-glass opacification (48%; 95% CI, 15%–83%; 4 studies, n = 57; I2 = 86%) were common in PCP. Cystic lesions, central lymphadenopathy, and pneumothorax were infrequent. Pleural effusion was rare in PCP (0%; 95% CI, 0%–2%). Interstitial infiltrate (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4–3.9; I2 = 60%), interstitial-alveolar infiltrate (OR, 10.2; 95% CI, 3.2–32.4; I2 = 0%), and diffuse CXR changes (OR, 7.3; 95% CI, 2.7–20.2; I2 = 87%) were associated with PCP diagnosis. There was loss of association with alveolar infiltrate in African studies. CONCLUSIONS: Diffuse CXR changes and interstitial-alveolar infiltrates indicate a higher likelihood of PCP. Pleural effusion, lymphadenopathy, and focal alveolar infiltrates suggest alternative causes. These findings could be incorporated into clinical algorithms to improve diagnosis of HIV-associated PCP.


Wills NK, Adriaanse M, Erasmus S, Wasserman S




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


Abstract/Full paper

Email 1 selected articles

Email 1 selected articles

Error! The email wasn't sent. Please try again.

Your email has been sent!