Pathological lesions in HIV positive patients

Indian J Med Res. 1995 Apr;101:134-41.

Abstract

Pathomorphological features of 10 HIV positive individuals studied at autopsy and biopsy are described. Nine patients had evidence of neuro-AIDS and eight of them succumbed to various opportunistic infections. One surviving patient underwent a diagnostic lymph node biopsy which revealed tuberculous lymphadenopathy. Cryptococcal meningitis was the commonest CNS opportunistic infection, seen in five cases, with disseminated systemic cryptococcosis in two. The other opportunistic infections included toxoplasma encephalitis in two, with acanthamoeba infection in one patient. Pulmonary tuberculosis was noted in three patients while other bacterial infections such as meningococcal meningitis, pseudomonas septicaemia were observed in three and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in one. One seropositive individual was clinically asymptomatic but succumbed to a road traffic accident. The brain in this case showed features of HIV associated early leucoencephalopathy. Bacterial infections caused by organisms other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis associated with AIDS are often underdiagnosed and should be considered, especially in developing countries. In cases of cryptococcal and tuberculous meningitis or multiple parasitic infections, the patients should be screened for associated HIV infection.

PIP: Autopsy or biopsy findings in 10 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive persons from Bangalore, India, revealed a wide spectrum of pathological changes. Patients' mean age was 33.4 years and the mean duration between symptom onset and death was 27.13 days. Nine patients had evidence of neuro-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and 8 of them succumbed to various opportunistic infections. Histologic examination showed diffuse cryptococcal meningitis in 5 cases; 2 cases showed disseminated systemic cryptococcosis. Pulmonary tuberculosis was present in 3 patients. Despite no signs of associated neurotuberculosis in any patient, 4 autopsied and 1 biopsied case showed evidence of systemic tuberculosis. Toxoplasma encephalitis was present in 2 cases; observed in this series was the first case, in India, of co-existent toxoplasma and acanthamoeba. Other bacterial infections such as meningococcal meningitis and psudomonas septicemia were found in 3 cases; pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was present in 1 case. Evidence of early HIV leukoencephalopathy was observed in the only asymptomatic HIV-positive individual (who died in a traffic accident). AIDS-associated bacterial infections caused by organisms other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis are often underdiagnosed and should be considered in developing countries. In cases of cryptococcal and tuberculosis meningitis or multiple parasitic infections, patients should be screened for associated HIV infection.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autopsy
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged