Pattern of Pulmonary Infections among Intravenous Drug Abusers


Department of Infectious Disease, Labbafinejad Hospital, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN.


Background: Considering the increasing number of intravenous drug users (IDUs) and their frequent admissions to infectious disease wards, better understanding of their infections seems necessary. The purpose of this research was to study the epidemiology, prevalence and nature of pulmonary infections in admitted IDUs in these wards at Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was performed on 126 admitted IDUs in infectious wards of the Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences from May 2002 to Jan. 2004 and we classified their infections. Results: Pulmonary infections were the most common infectious disease category after skin and soft tissue infections. . In 34 of 126 IDUs, pulmonary infection was the definite diagnosis which was investigated in 4 groups: pneumonia, tuberculosis, pleurisy, and lung abscess. Pneumonia was the second most common infection. The most prevalent causes of fever were pulmonary infections. Twenty seven percent (8 cases, 9 admissions) of pulmonary infections were smear positive TB. Frequency of HBS Ag, Anti HCV and HIV infection was 20%, 92% and 67% respectively. Mean duration of admission was 17 days and in average 6 antibiotics were used per patient. Mortality of pulmonary infections was 30% whereas the overall mortality was 17.7%. Conclusion: We found pulmonary infections to be the second most frequent cause of infection in IDUs with a high mortality rate. The high frequency of TB and concurrence with HIV was also noted.(Tanaffos 2005; 4(16): 47-50)