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Simplified exercise test for the initial differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in HIV antibody positive patients.
  1. J Sauleda,
  2. J Gea,
  3. X Aran,
  4. M C Aguar,
  5. M Orozco-Levi,
  6. J M Broquetas
  1. Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND--This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of a simplified exercise test in the differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). METHODS--Forty five subjects with antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and pneumonia were included and divided into two groups: those with PCP and those with "other pneumonias" (non-PCP). The test involved pedalling for two minutes on a stretcher bed and was considered positive if SaO2 decreased by at least 3%. RESULTS--During the exercise the mean(SE) SaO2 fell in patients with PCP from 88(4)% to 84(3)%, p < 0.01, whilst it improved slightly in subjects with non-PCP from 91(1)% to 93(3)%, p < 0.05. Sensitivity was 77% and specificity 91%. CONCLUSIONS--This simple test seems potentially useful for the initial investigation of HIV antibody positive patients with pneumonia.

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