PNEUMONIA, Pneumocystis carinii type, or interstitial plasma cell pneumonia, is a peculiar type of infantile pneumonitis characterized by progressive dyspnea, tachypnea, tachycardia, and cyanosis.1 Although, auscultatory findings are minimal, radiograms of the chest reveal perihilar haziness. This haziness spreads, often becomes granular, and may coalesce to form indistinct nodules.2 The disease is most prevalent in infants between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months,3 usually appearing between the 12th and 14th week of life. Premature and mature dystrophic infants in hospitals and nurseries are most often affected.
The term, "pneumocystis carinii" was coined by Delanoë and Delanoë4 to designate a parasite previously described by Carini.5 The organism has not been cultured. It is regarded as a protozoon, although its classification as a fungus has been proposed.6 Since Van der Meer and Brug,7 and Vaněk and Jirovec8 demonstrated the presence of P