Pneumocystispneumonia versus rituximab-induced interstitial lung disease in lymphoma patients receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy
It is difficult to differentiate Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) from rituximab-induced interstitial lung disease (RILD) in lymphoma patients with diffuse pulmonary infiltrates who are receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy. Using a clinical scoring system, we aim to differentiate PCP from RILD who are receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy. We reviewed the medical records of lymphoma patients who had received rituximab-containing chemotherapy between 2012 and 2015 in a tertiary hospital. Among 613 lymphoma patients receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy, 97 (16%) had diffuse pulmonary infiltrates. Of these, 16 (16%) with an alternative diagnosis and 22 (23%) with an indeterminate diagnosis were excluded. Finally, 21 (22%) patients were classified as having PCP and the remaining 38 (39%) as having RILD. Fever, short duration of symptoms (≤5 days), systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and severe extent of disease on CT scan (>75%) were more common in patients with PCP than in those with RILD. Clinical scores were determined using the following system: SIRS = score 1, symptom duration ≤5 days = score 1, extent of disease on CT >75% = score 4. A score of ≥2 differentiated PCP from RILD with 91% sensitivity (95% CI, 70-99) and 71% specificity (95% CI, 54-84). A clinical scoring system based on presence of SIRS, short duration of symptoms, and severe extent of disease on CT scan appears to be useful in differentiation of PCP from RILD.