Pneumocystis jiroveci (P. carinii) Smear (DFA)

Test ID   LAB906
EPIC Order
CPT Code   87281
Group/Individual Test   Individual
Laboratory   Clinical Microbiology, 984-974-1805
Tube Station   82
Specimen Routine:

BAL or Washing, mini-BAL only (Non-HIV infected patients);

BAL or Washing, mini-BAL, Induced Sputum (HIV+patients only)

Availability Routine: Monday, Wednesday, Friday;  Samples Received in Lab by 12:00 Noon on day of testing will be resulted same day.
See Comments.
Turnaround Time   4 days

Diagnosis of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in non-HIV infected patients- 

Acceptable specimens: bronchoalveolar lavage or washing, mini-BAL;
Unacceptable specimens:   induced or expectorated sputum; tracheal aspirates

Since pneumocystis pneumonia is an alveolar disease without productive cough, the sensitivity of induced or expectorated sputum in non-HIV infected patients is <50%.  Additionally the prevalence of this organism in sputum of non-HIV infected patients in our experience has been approximately 0.33% (1 positive in over 300 patients) which is consistent with reports in the literature.  The low prevalence of Pneumocystis in non-HIV infected patients, combined with an imperfect test specificity, means it is more likely that a  positive result represents a false positive rather than a true positive.  For this reason, testing of expectorated and induced sputum in non-HIV patients is not performed in our laboratory.  

Reviewed by jcarr on December 08, 2021

Note: Reference ranges provided on this web site are for guidance only, and may not reflect the most recent changes. Refer to laboratory reports for current reference data.

UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514