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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2000 Mar;35(3):329-32.

The diagnostic value of electron microscopy in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients with gastrointestinal disease.

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  • 1Dept. of Gastroenterology and Pathology, St. Vincent's Hospital, New York, New York 10011, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Our aim was to determine the diagnostic value of electron microscopy in evaluating the etiology of gastrointestinal disease in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

METHODS:

A retrospective review of electron microscopic and light microscopic results of all HIV-positive patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases was made during a 3-year period from June 1995 to June 1998.

RESULTS:

A total of 145 HIV-positive patients had their electron microscopy specimens reviewed. Of these, 136 were investigated for diarrhea, and the other 9 for increased liver enzymes. Twenty-seven of the 145 (18.6%) HIV-positive patients had a pathogen identified by electron microscopy, compared with only 13 of 145 (9%) identified by light microscopy (P < 0.005). The sensitivity of light microscopy for detecting opportunistic pathogens was 68%. Twenty-one of the 27 (77.8%) patients diagnosed by electron microscopy had microsporidiosis, and the most commonly diagnosed species was Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Light microscopy failed to identify 12 cases of microsporidiosis and 2 cases of leishmaniasis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Electron microscopy contributes substantially to the identification of pathogens in HIV-positive patients. Light microscopy failed to identify one of every two pathogens diagnosed by electron microscopy.

PMID:
10766330
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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