June 13, 1994

Wider Meaning for Lactate Dehydrogenase in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Mexico City, Mexico

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(11):1296-1298. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420110144020

As recently discussed by several authors, increased concentrations of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and with altered chest roentgenograms strongly suggest a Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.1-4 A similar analysis was considered for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a very frequent pathogen in Mexican patients with AIDS.

Specimens from 40 patients with AIDS were studied in a search for both mycobacteria and P carinii in sputum and/or bronchial washings with serum LDH determinations. Overall, the average LDH level was 508.65 IU. Eight patients (20%) were mycobacteria-positive, with an LDH medium of 525.20 IU, whereas 17 patients (42.5%) proved positive for P carinii with an LDH medium of 496.82 IU. Mycobacteria-negative patients had an LDH medium of 504.5 IU, while P carinii—negative patients had LDH media of 517.3 IU. Kruskal-Wallis analysis yielded a significant two-tailed test result (P=.05363), and a Mann-Whitney U analysis was rendered not significant.

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