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2017年06月13日 临床话题, 模拟诊室 暂无评论

60-Year-Old Man with Non-resolving Pneumonia

Submitted by

Nicholas C. James, MD, Timothy N. Liesching, MD

Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

Burlington, Massachusetts

from https://www.thoracic.org/professionals/clinical-resources/clinical-cases/01-15.php

History 病史

A 60 year-old man with a past medical history for coronary artery disease requiring four vessel coronary artery bypass grafting, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, nephrolithiasis and cirrhosis related to alcohol abuse was deemed a liver transplant candidate after complications of several episodes of hepatic encephalopathy and esophageal variceal bleeding. He remained abstinent from alcohol.


He underwent a living donor liver transplant using the right hepatic lobe graft donated by his son. His immunosuppression regimen included sirolimus, mycophenolate, and prednisone. Valgancyclovir and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole included his prophylactic therapy. There were no peri-operative complications noted. Post-operatively, the patient noted mild dyspnea and a non-productive cough. His postoperative course was complicated by cholangitis secondary to biliary stricture necessitating percutaneous trans-hepatic cholangiography (PTC) and biliary dilation.  Work up for his cholangitis included an abdominal CT that incidentally demonstrated a dense pulmonary infiltrate of the right middle lobe (RML) (Figure 1). He also developed acute renal insufficiency, but did not require renal replacement therapy. It was determined by the surgical team that the patient had pneumonia and was treated amoxicillin/clavulanate. His respiratory symptoms resolved and followed up in clinic.


As an outpatient, the patient required one additional biliary dilation procedure for biliary stricture. A follow up chest CT (Figure 2) 7 weeks after initial imaging demonstrated a persistent RML infiltrate. The patient was completely without respiratory complaint at the time.  A pulmonary consultation is requested.


Physical Exam 体格检查

Physical examination revealed the patient to be afebrile with an oxygen saturation of 99% on room air. The remaining vitals were also unremarkable. The patient was not in acute distress and could talk in complete sentences.  Auscultation of the lungs was clear throughout and cardiac examination revealed a 3/6 systolic murmur. The extremities were void of edema and there was no clubbing.


Figure 1: CT chest showing right middle lobe dense consolidation with associated ground glass opacities


Figure 2: Persistent, more consolidated right middle lobe infiltrate with increased ground glass opacities


Question 1 问题1

What would be the next best diagnostic approach for this patient’s non-resolving opacity?



Flexible bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and trans-bronchial biopsies


Identification of potentially treatable pulmonary complications is important in patients who are immunosuppressed. The differential diagnosis of non-resolving pulmonary infiltrates includes both infectious and non-infectious etiologies. Recent advances in urine antigen testing, induced sputum analysis, and other rapid non-invasive studies have aided in the diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates in immunosuppressed patients1.

In patients who are not severely ill with pulmonary infiltrates, an empiric course of antibiotics can be considered.  Persistent pulmonary infiltrates commonly represent bacterial or opportunistic infections, such as fungal pneumonia or Pneumocystis jerovecii pneumonia.  Common bacterial pathogens include methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aureuginosaLegionella pneumonia remains a challenging infection in solid organ transplant recipients as major outbreaks can be seen with water or inhaled aerosol contamination2.  Viral infections are also common post-transplant, and are well described by the length of time since transplant.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) and Ebstein-Barr virus (EBV) are among the most commonly encountered.  Immunusuppressive medications have led to reactivation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis following solid organ transplantation.

Malignancy may also represent non-resolving pulmonary infiltrates.  Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is an example of a lymphoproliferative disorder related to immunosuppression following solid organ transplantation as well as hematopoetic stem cell transplantation.  The pathophysiology is related to B-cell proliferation induced by Ebstein-Barr virus.  Clinically, patients present with constitutional symptoms such as fever, malaise and weight loss.  More than half of patients with this disorder develop extra-nodal masses in the GI tract, lungs, skin, or central nervous system.  Diagnosis is made by high clinical suspicion followed by biopsy.  Full excisional biopsy is preferred; however, needle biopsy is an acceptable alternative in certain situations.  Treatment of PTLD necessitates a reduction in immunosuppressive medications transplant recipients receive2,3. Typically chemotherapy is given for the treatment of PTLD as well.  Chemotherapy regimens are similar to treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with CHOP and rituximab, a monoclonal antibody to CD20 expressed on mature and immature B lymphocytes.  Alternative non-infectious etiologies include atelectasis from airway obstruction, cryptogenic organizing pneumonia, or pulmonary vasculitides, such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Bronchoscopy with alveolar lavage remains an essential component of the diagnostic algorithm.  A 1990 study evaluated a diagnostic team to rapidly diagnose pulmonary infections in solid organ transplant recipients.  Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed on patients with clinical and radiographic evidence of pneumonia that could not readily expectorate an adequate sputum sample.  Bronchoscopy with lavage and brushing was done within 24-hours if deemed necessary.  A diagnosis was made in 92% of patients, the overwhelming majority related to infectious processes3. In immunocompromised hosts, non-invasive and bronchoscopic procedures early in the course of pulmonary infiltrates related to infectious etiologies had significantly lower mortality if therapy was tailored within seven days4.

While all of the listed diagnostic procedures are feasible, bronchoscopy is a semi-invasive, well-tolerated procedure with acceptable risks.  Bronchoscopy allows for bronchoalveolar lavage, protected brush sampling, endobronchial biopsy and transbronchial biopsy, depending on the specific patient characteristics.  Infection in transplant recipients is common.  Recognition is often difficult with advances in immunosuppression to prevent allograft rejection.

A sputum culture may not provide the diagnostic yield in this patient and therefore, choice A is incorrect.  A VATS biopsy (choice B) will most likely make a diagnosis; however, this would not be optimal next step in this patient.  VATS procedures are more invasive and inherently have higher complication rates than flexible bronchoscopy.

In this patient, bronchoscopy with BAL, brushing, and trans-bronchial lung biopsy were performed.  Cultures including bacterial, viral, and fungal were negative.  Legionella, nocardia, AFB and pneumocystis were negative as well.  Cytology examination of the BAL and bronchial brush samples revealed no evidence of malignancy.  Transbronchial biopsies were taken and these also did not show malignant cells.  Pathologic examination of the transbronchial biopsies revealed normal alveolar structures with crush artifact, mildly atypical cells, and submucosal calcifications.  Specimens stained for AFB and fungus were negative as well.


Question 2 问题2

In light of the bronchoscopy results, what would be the next best step in management?



Referral for surgical lung biopsy


There has been persistence to this pulmonary infiltrate over during a seven week follow up already and following up with an additional CT scan of the chest in 3 months would not be appropriate at this time, and thus choice A is incorrect.

Trans-thoracic needled aspiration (TTNA) has become a well-established and widely utilized procedure for the diagnosis of peripheral lung nodules.  A recent study has demonstrated a sensitivity of 92% and 100% in malignant and benign disease, respectively5.  Although there the sensitivity for diagnosis of both benign and malignant disease is high, there are certainly associated complications from CT-guided TTNA.  Severe complications such as hemorrhage (1%), pneumothorax (15%) and pneumothorax requiring a chest tube (6.6%) are reported6.  In this case, the fact remains that this dense, consolidated, peripheral pulmonary nodule persisted over many weeks despite antibiotic therapy.  Furthermore, there was no evidence for spread to other organs or the mediastinum.  At this point, referral for surgical lung biopsy is warranted, making answer choice D correct.

Pneumocystis jerovecii (formerly carinii) pneumonia (PJP/PCP) is widely regarded as an opportunistic infection in those afflicted with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  There has been a paradigm shift as the number of patients receiving solid organ transplants and immunosuppression increases. A 1996 study of 116 non-AIDS patients revealed that solid organ transplant was associated with PJP/PCP in 25% of the cases7.  In this study, the median corticosteroid dose was 30 mg daily; however, 25% of patients received only 16 mg daily.  As such, patients on prolonged corticosteroid treatment should have consideration for prophylaxis against Pneumocystis, as our patient did.  Prophylaxis is associated with a 91% observed reduction in Pneumocystis pneumonia in a meta-analysis8.  The number needed to treat to prevent one was fifteen in that meta-analysis of twelve randomized controlled trials in patients with autologous bone marrow or solid organ transplant or who had hematologic malignancy9.  Acute infection with Pneumocystis is typically associated with fever, shortness or breath and cough10, which can result in acute respiratory failure.  Diagnosis has relied on direct visualization of the organisms by microscopy in BAL fluid or induced sputum.  Non-HIV patients typically are infected with lower parasite burden than those infected with HIV, and microscopic evaluation may be falsely negative11.  Our patient did not have any of the typical clinical signs or symptoms of PJP/PCP infection and similarly the BAL and trans-bronchial biopsies were negative for the organism.  As such, empiric therapy for PJP/PCP would not be warranted.

History Continued 病史继续...

The patient undergoes a VATS biopsy without any complications. The pathology slides include


Question 3

Based on the VATS biopsy shown, what is the most likely diagnosis? 根据VATS活检结果,最可能的诊断是什么?

View Results

加载中 ... 加载中 ...


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10. Ewig, S, Bauer, T, Schneider C, Pickenhain, A et al. Clinical characteristic and outcome of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in HIV-infected and otherwise immunosuppressed patients. Eur Respir J. 1995;8: 1548-1553.

11. Matsumura, Y, Shindo, Y, Iinuma, Y, Yamamoto, M et al. Clinical characteristics of Pneumocystis pneumonia in non-HIV patients and prognostic factors including microbiological genotypes. BMC Infect Dis. 2011;11:76-84.

12. Chan, ED, Morales, DV, Welsh, CH, et al. Calcium Deposition with or without Bone Formation in the Lung. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002; 165:1654-69.

13. Yousem, SA. The Surgical Pathology of Pulmonary Infarcts: Diagnostic Confusion with Granulomatous Disease, Vasculitis, and Neoplasia. Mod Pathol. 2009;22:679-85.

14. Thomas, CF and Limper, AH. Pneumocystis Pneumonia. NEJM. 2004;350:2487-98.

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17. Wechsler, RJ, Feld, R, Munoz, SJ, et al. Suprahepatic Circumcaval Ring: CT Finding After Orthotopic Liver Transplantation. AJR. 1992; 183:545-48.


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