Bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy have been used as adjuncts to the management of patients with pneumonia associated with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) at the Middlesex Hospital and the experience gained and difficulties encountered in the first five cases are reported. Widely varying organisms were isolated from lavage aspirates, some of which may have been nasopharyngeal contaminants, and organisms cultured from the transbronchial biopsy specimens may offer a better guide to antimicrobial treatment. Pneumocystis carinii was found in two of the patients. In view of the potentially serious toxicity of high dose co-trimoxazole, continuation of this treatment may be inadvisable if Pneumocystis carinii is not identified by all available methods unless there are strong clinical grounds to suspect its presence.
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