Register for alerts
If you have registered for alerts, you should use your registered email address as your username
So CD4 counts appear to be a useful tool in assessing risk, but other factors also contribute such as lung architecture. In a retrospective study of 74 patients with interstitial lung disease on corticosteroids, 7 patients developed PCP. The mean dose at time of diagnosis was prednisone 37mg with mean duration of 10 weeks. CD4 counts ranged from 59 to 836, with a mean of 370 . The authors argued that due to their underlying lung disease, the patients were at higher risk for PCP and became infected at higher CD4 counts than patients with other underlying diseases.
Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile .  The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception .  In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone.  The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field.  The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.