Seventy five patients with pulmonary disease and suspected acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) underwent fibreoptic bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage. Of 54 cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, 53 (98%) were diagnosed by bronchoalveolar lavage. Complications were recorded in 12 instances and included pneumothorax in two and transient increase in fever and hypoxaemia in the remainder. Bronchoalveolar lavage is a safe, easy, and effective procedure for diagnosing pneumocystis pneumonia in patients at high risk of AIDS and should be done routinely when fibreoptic bronchoscopy is performed in such patients.
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