Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in patients treated with systemic immunosuppressive agents for dermatologic conditions: a systematic review with recommendations for prophylaxis

Tania M. Gonzalez Santiago, David A. Wetter, Amer N. Kalaaji, Andrew Harold Limper, Julia Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Scopus citations


Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is an opportunistic infection associated with substantial rates of mortality in immunosuppressed patients. Prophylaxis recommendations are mostly targeted toward patients with non-dermatologic diagnoses. This study was conducted to determine when dermatology patients treated with immunosuppressive medications should be offered P. jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis. We searched the literature from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 2013, using terms relating to P. jiroveci pneumonia and dermatologic diagnoses to analyze the clinical characteristics of previously affected patients. Guidelines for P. jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis from other medical fields were also analyzed. Of 17 dermatology patients reported to have contracted P. jiroveci pneumonia, eight (47.1%) died of the pneumonia. Risk factors included lack of prophylaxis, systemic corticosteroid therapy, lymphopenia, hypoalbuminemia, low serum CD4 counts, comorbid pulmonary or renal disease, malignancy, and prior organ transplantation. The present conclusions are limited by heterogeneity among the selected studies and limitations in their identification and selection. However, P. jiroveci pneumonia in dermatology patients is associated with a high mortality rate. Based on our analysis, we propose that prophylaxis be considered in dermatology patients in whom treatment with systemic corticosteroids at doses exceeding 20 mg/day or treatment with corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive agents is anticipated for at least 4 weeks, and in patients with additional risk factors for P. jiroveci pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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