Antibiotic and cholestyramine treatment of chronic diarrhea in HIV-infected children

Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1997 Feb;29(1):22-4.


Background: Chronic diarrhea is a common feature in children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and is associated with an increased risk of death in these patients. To describe the effects of an empiric treatment on diarrhea and body weight on HIV-infected pediatric patients.

Patients: Eleven vertically HIV-infected children with chronic diarrhea were treated with oral gentamicin, metronidazole and cholestyramine for 3 to 5 days.

Results: In children not infected by Cryptosporidium the treatment resulted in a 50% reduction of stool frequency and a 9% increase in body weight. No statistically significant effect was found in children harbouring this parasite. Diarrhea relapsed within 1-2 months in 3/3 children with Cryptosporidium and in 1/8 children without Cryptosporidium (p < 0.05). No untoward side effects from the treatment were observed.

Conclusions: These results suggest that an empiric treatment of this type should be attempted early in HIV-infected children with chronic diarrhea, particularly in those not infected by Cryptosporidium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholestyramine Resin / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage*
  • HIV Enteropathy / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / congenital
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Metronidazole / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins
  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Metronidazole