Using PCR to diagnose PCP infection

In immunocompromised patients with respiratory failure, this diagnostic study found that PCR (sputum obtained by BAL or induced sputum) had a PPV of only 52% (can pick up on colonized, but not infected patients), but had a NPV of 99%. This high NPV can help us confidently avoid PCP treatment in those with negative PCR testing (abstract).

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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