pneumocystis carinii pneumoniamedical dictionary

<respiratory medicine> A pneumonia caused by an infection with Pneumocystis carinii.

Pneumocystis carinii grows rapidly in the lungs of patients with immunosuppression, particularly due to AIDS and is the leading AIDS-related cause of death. Pneumocystis carinii infection sometimes may occur elsewhere in the body (skin, eye, spleen, liver or heart).

It is considered one of the diagnostic criteria for AIDS in an HIV positive individual.

Acronym: PCP

(10 Jan 1998)