Pathologic features of the liver in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Liver. 1986 Jun;6(3):158-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1986.tb00283.x.


The livers of 26 adult males with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) were reviewed. The occurrence of portal tracts with diminished lymphocytes, probably reflecting generalized exhaustion of the lymphoid system, was a characteristic morphologic change, and was found in all cases. Kupffer cell hyperplasia was also a frequent finding and probably reflected generalized infection(s). Punched-out clusters of foamy histiocytes filled with acid-fast bacilli, typical for infection with Mycobacterium avium intracellulare (MAC), were found in three patients. In addition, MAC was cultured from two livers without the foamy histiocytic changes. Chronic viral hepatitis (three cases) and deposition of polarizable materials (one case) in the liver might be related to unusual habits of patients with AIDS. In conclusion, livers from patients with AIDS disclosed several kinds of lesions reflecting underlying or associated conditions in AIDS, but these did not contribute to the cause of death in our patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Histiocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kupffer Cells / pathology
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / complications