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Prognostic factors and clinical efficacy of second-line treatments of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia for non-HIV patients after first-line treatment failure

BMC Infect Dis. 2022 Jun 14;22(1):546. doi: 10.1186/s12879-022-07523-y.


BACKGROUND: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is a life-threatening opportunistic infection. In non-HIV immunocompromised patients with PCP, a standard second-line treatment has not been established up to now.

METHODS: Non-HIV immunocompromised patients with confirmed PCP between April 2013 and December 2020 were included. Their PCP treatment history was tracked. Factors related to first-line trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) and second-line treatment failure were identified. Different second-line treatment strategies were compared.

RESULTS: Among the 220 patients, 127 (57.73%) did not respond to first-line TMP/SMX treatment. Risk factors related to treatment failure included symptom triad with breathlessness at rest, persistent fever and cough (85% in the treatment failure group versus 74% in the treatment success group, P = 0.034), treatment with invasive mechanical ventilation (67 vs. 19%, P < 0.001), coinfection with CMV (69 vs. 47%, P = 0.035), and bacteremia (59 vs. 10%, P < 0.001). A total of 49 patients received second-line treatment on the basis of TMP/SMX, and 28 (57.1%) of them responded to the treatment. No clinical parameter, including selection of different therapies, was found to be significantly associated with second-line treatment failure. Further, the prognosis of different second-line therapies showed no drug or drug combination strategy superior to others. The primaquine group had lower 90-day mortality rate (45.9%) but showed no statistically significant difference compared with the non-primaquine group (64.6%). The patients in the clindamycin plus primaquine group had the lowest in-hospital mortality rate (22.2%, P = 0.042) among different second-line therapies, although the in-hospital mortality of the primaquine group was not significantly different from that of the non-primaquine group. The differences in 28 day mortality and overall mortality rates were not statistically significant, too.

CONCLUSION: CMV infection and bacteremia were risk factors significantly associated with treatment failure of TMP/SMX. The response and survival rates of second-line treatment, including clindamycin, primaquine, and caspofungin, were poor, maybe clindamycin plus primaquine as second line treatment was better than other treatment strategies. These results suggest that clinicians should carefully evaluate whether the treatment of TMP/SMX has failed due to a coinfection rather than hastily changing to a second-line drug when the patient worsens.

PMID:35701759 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-022-07523-y

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