Objective Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is a serious fungal infection that can be life threatening in immunocompromised hosts. We evaluated the association between the radiological patterns of PCP on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and clinical characteristics and the prognosis of patients with connective tissue disease (CTD). Methods All CTD patients who developed PCP from January 1999 to April 2017 were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were divided into three groups based on their chest HRCT findings: Ground glass opacity (GGO) sharply demarcated from the adjacent normal lung by interlobular septa (demarcated GGO), diffuse GGO without obvious demarcation (diffuse GGO), and GGO with mixed consolidation (mixed GGO). We compared the clinical characteristics at the onset of PCP and the outcomes among the groups. Results A total of 35 cases were identified: demarcated GGO (n=8, 23%), diffuse GGO (n=19, 54%), and mixed GGO (n=8, 23%). The mixed GGO group showed a higher serum C-reactive protein level (p<0.0001), lower lymphocyte count (p=0.07), lower serum albumin (p<0.001), and lower partial pressure of arterial oxygen/fraction of inspiratory oxygen ratios (p<0.001) in comparison to the demarcated and diffuse GGO groups. The mixed GGO group showed significantly higher mortality in comparison to the demarcated and diffuse GGO groups (88% vs. 7%, p<0.0001). Conclusion GGO with mixed consolidation on chest HRCT was associated with a poor outcome of PCP in patients with CTD.
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