To determine the use of chest radiographs in the screening of asymptomatic adults infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
A prospective, multicenter study of the pulmonary complications of HIV infection in a community-based cohort of persons with and without HIV infection. The subjects included 1065 HIV-seropositive subjects without the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome at the time of enrollment: 790 homosexual men, 226 injection drug users, and 49 women with heterosexually acquired infection. Frontal and lateral chest radiographs were performed at 3-, 6-, and 12-month intervals, CD4 lymphocyte measurements at 3- and 6-month intervals, tuberculin and mumps skin tests at 12-month intervals, and medical histories and physical examinations at 3- and 6-month intervals. Pulmonary diagnoses that occurred within 2 months following each radiograph were analyzed and correlated with the radiographic results.
Evaluable screening chest radiographs (5263) were performed in HIV-seropositive subjects while they were asymptomatic; of these, 5140 (98%) were classified as normal and 123 (2%) as abnormal. A new pulmonary diagnosis was identified within 2 months following a screening radiograph in 55 subjects. Only 11 of these subjects had abnormal radiographs; the sensitivity of the radiograph was 20%. The sensitivity was similarly low at baseline, within each transmission category, and in subjects whose CD4 lymphocyte counts were less than 0.2× 109/L (200/μL). The types of pulmonary diseases that occurred were similar in the subjects with normal and abnormal screening radiographs.
Screening chest radiography in asymptomatic HIV-infected adults is unwarranted because the diagnostic yield is low.(Arch Intern Med. 1996;156:191-195)
Schneider RF, Hansen NI, Rosen MJ, Kvale PA, Fulkerson WJ, Goodman P, Meiselman L, Glassroth J, Reichman LB, Wallace JM, Hopewell PC. Lack of Usefulness of Radiographic Screening for Pulmonary Disease in Asymptomatic HIV-Infected Adults. Arch Intern Med. 1996;156(2):191-195. doi:10.1001/archinte.1996.00440020097011