Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) with acute respiratory failure can result in development of pneumothorax during treatment. This study aimed to identify the incidence and related factors of pneumothorax in patients with PCP and acute respiratory failure and to analyze their prognosis.
We retrospectively reviewed the occurrence of pneumothorax, including clinical characteristics and results of other examinations, in 119 non-human immunodeficiency virus patients with PCP and respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilator treatment in a medical intensive care unit (ICU) at a tertiary-care center between July 2016 and April 2019.
During follow up duration, twenty-two patients (18.5%) developed pneumothorax during ventilator treatment, with 45 (37.8%) eventually requiring a tracheostomy due to weaning failure. Cytomegalovirus co-infection (odds ratio 13.9; p = 0.013) was related with occurrence of pneumothorax in multivariate analysis. And development of pneumothorax was not associated with need for tracheostomy and mortality. Furthermore, analysis of survivor after 28 days in ICU, patients without pneumothorax were significantly more successful in weaning from mechanical ventilator than the patients with pneumothorax (44% vs. 13.3%, p = 0.037). PCP patients without pneumothorax showed successful home discharges compared to those who without pneumothorax (p = 0.010).
The development of pneumothorax increased in PCP patient with cytomegalovirus co-infection, pneumothorax might have difficulty in and prolonged weaning from mechanical ventilators, which clinicians should be aware of when planning treatment for such patients.

© 2021. The Author(s).