Study objective: To describe the clinical, immunologic, and immunogenetic features of a diffuse infiltrative lymphocytic disorder resembling Sjögren syndrome in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Design: Clinical case study.
Setting: University-affiliated hospitals and outpatient clinics.
Patients: Consecutive sample of 17 patients.
Measurements and main results: All of the 17 patients had bilateral parotid gland enlargement; 14 had xerostomia and 6 had xerophthalmia. Of the 17 patients, 14 had generalized lymphadenopathy, 10 had histologically proved lymphocytic interstitial pneumonitis, 4 had neurologic involvement, and 3 had lymphocytic infiltration of the gastrointestinal tract. Gallium scanning in all of 11 tested patients showed abnormal salivary gland uptake. Minor salivary gland biopsies showed more than 2 lymphocytic foci per 4 mm2 tissue in all of 11 tested patients, the infiltrate consisting predominantly of CD8 cells. Fifteen patients had circulating CD8 lymphocytosis; the principal phenotype of these cells was CD8+ CD29+. Rheumatoid factor and antinuclear antibodies were infrequent, and none of the patients had anti-Ro/SS-A or anti-La/SS-B antibodies. HLA-DR5 was significantly more frequent in the black patients (10 of 12) compared with controls (13 of 45). Only one patient developed an opportunistic infection during 544 patient-months of study, and none has died of AIDS.
Conclusions: A distinct syndrome primarily characterized by parotid gland enlargement, sicca symptoms, and pulmonary involvement occurs in HIV infection. This disorder is associated with CD8 lymphocytosis and the presence of HLA-DR5, and appears to be a genetically determined host immune response to HIV.