Pancreatic disease in AIDS--a review

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1993 Oct;17(3):254-63. doi: 10.1097/00004836-199310000-00017.


Patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can develop pancreatic disease from causes unrelated to AIDS as well as AIDS-specific lesions. AIDS-specific causes include opportunistic infection, AIDS-associated neoplasia, and medications used to treat complications of AIDS. Reported pancreatic opportunistic pathogens include Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium intracellulare, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida, Aspergillus, Toxoplasma gondii, Pneumocystis carinii, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, cryptosporidium, and microsporidium. Although cytomegaloviral pancreatic infection can occur without clinically evident pancreatic disease, cytomegalovirus can cause pancreatitis. Other opportunistic infections that can cause pancreatitis include Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Candida. Mycobacterial infection can produce a pancreatic abscess. Hepatobiliary or pancreatic duct infection by cytomegalovirus, cryptosporidium, and microsporidium causes irregular ductular narrowing and dilatation. This cholangiographic abnormality resembles the pattern found in idiopathic sclerosing cholangitis. Reported AIDS-associated pancreatic neoplasms include Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphoma. Pancreatic involvement is usually part of widely disseminated tumor and rarely produces clinical symptoms. Pentamidine, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and 2', 3'dideoxyinosine are medications commonly used in AIDS patients which can cause pancreatitis. Pentamidine also causes hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related*
  • Morbidity
  • Pancreatic Diseases / complications*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi*