PloS one 2017 03 1612(3) e0173858 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0173858
Current understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated pulmonary cryptococcosis (PC) is largely based on studies performed about 2 decades ago which reported that the most common findings on chest radiograph were diffuse interstitial infiltrates. Few studies are available regarding the computed tomography (CT) findings. The aim of this study was to characterize chest CT features of HIV-associated PC.
HIV patients with cryptococccal infection and pulmonary abnormalities on Chest CT between September 2010 and May 2016 in the Second Affiliated Hospital of the Southeast University were retrospectively analyzed. Confirmed cases of tumors, mycobacterial infections and other fungal infections were excluded from the analysis.
60 cases were identified. The median CD4 T-cell counts were 20 cells/μL (range, 0-205 cells/μL). Chest CT scans demonstrated nodular lesions in 93.3% of the studied patients. Those nodular lesions were usually cavitated and solitary nodule was the most common form. Pleural effusions and pneumonic infiltrates occurred in 11.6% and 31.7% of the cases respectively. Those lesions were usually had co-existing nodular lesions. Etiological analysis suggested that 76.8% of the nodular lesions could have a relationship with PC that 12.5% of the nodular lesions were "laboratory-confirmed" cases, 48.2% were "clinically confirmed" cases and 16.1% were "clinically probable" cases. 85.7% of the pleural effusions could be "clinically confirmed" cases of PC. At least, 38.5% of the diffuse pneumonic infiltrates may be clinically attributed to pneumocystis pneumonia.
This study suggested that pulmonary nodules but not diffuse pneumonia are the most common radiological characteristics of HIV-associated PC. HIV-infected patients with pulmonary nodules on Chest CT should particularly be screened for cryptococcal infection.