Cavitary pulmonary lesions in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus

Joel E. Gallant, Andrew H. Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The differential diagnosis of cavitary pulmonary lesions in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is broad, especially in patients with advanced disease. In patients with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, cavitation is an uncommon manifestation of a common disease. It is unusual in patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis, coccidioidomycosis, and histoplasmosis but occurs frequently in patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. In patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, cavities are more common during earlier stages of HIV disease, when cellular immunity is relatively preserved. Mycobacterium avium complex is an uncommon cause of lung disease and infrequently produces cavities. However, Mycobacterium kansasii, is often associated with cavitation. Cavities can complicate any bacterial pneumonia and are especially common with pneumonia due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Nocardia asteroides, and Rhodococcus equi. Noninfectious causes of cavitary lesions are rare, but cavitary lesions caused by pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have been reported. Because of the broad differential diagnosis and because most cavities are caused by treatable opportunistic infections, a definitive diagnosis is essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-682
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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