Donald W. Northfelt, MD; Sharon Safrin, MD
To the Editors: Sepkowitz and colleagues (1) show that the use of aerosolized pentamidine is a strong independent risk factor for the development of pneumothorax (crude relative risk, 17.6) in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). They also show that pneumothorax is associated with both mortality (4 deaths among their 20 patients) and morbidity (prolonged hospitalization, bacterial superinfection, and thoracotomy). In addition, their findings suggest that failure of aerosolized pentamidine prophylaxis, with resultant acute Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, is associated with the occurrence of pneumothorax.
Despite these findings, the authors make the statement in the abstract that "the benefits of
Northfelt DW, Safrin S. Risk for Pneumothorax in AIDS. Ann Intern Med. ;115:156–157. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-115-2-156
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(2):156-157.
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