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The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of the conventional Papanicolaou stain in diagnosing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with HIV infection in comparison with the special stain, Grocott modified Gomori’s methenamine silver (GMS.) Bronchial washing bronchoalveolar lavage specimens from 28 HIV - positive patients, admitted to Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University during the Period from January 1992 to September 1993, were first screened for Pneumocystis carinii in Papanicolaou – stained slides. The main diagnostic criteria included the presence of foamy masses and the apparent outline of the parasite cyst wall . After this, the slides were dstained, then restained with silver stain by the GMS method in 12 out of the 28 cases, while 10 cases were positive using the Papanicolaou technique. The sensitivety, specifivity and accuracy of the Papanicolaou stain in the diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii in bronchial washing bronchoalveolar lavage were 83.3% , 100%, and 92.5% , respectively, when compared with the GMS method. There was no significance in the fequency of detection between both methods. Therefore, the Papanicolaou technique, which is used routinely in the cytology laboratory, can be used for the simple and rapid initial diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia in bronchial washing / bronchoalveolar lavage specimens.
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