Send to

Choose Destination

Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of oral opportunistic infections in adults with HIV/AIDS as markers of immune suppression and viral burden.

Author information

Department of Dental Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, USA. Lauren_Patton@Dentistry.UNC.EDU



The purpose of this study was to assess the use of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related oral opportunistic infections as markers of immune suppression and viral burden in adults with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).


The population consisted of a single institution observational cohort involving 606 patients with HIV/AIDS with CD4 count data and 277 with plasma viral load measurements examined between 1995 and 1999 for the presence of oral manifestations of HIV. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value is reported for the association of specific oral lesions and lesion sets with CD4 counts <200 cells/mm(3) and with plasma HIV RNA >/=20,000 copies/mL.


Lesions with moderate-to-high PPVs for CD4 <200 cells/mm(3) were as follows: Kaposi's sarcoma (100%; P =.035), pseudomembranous candidiasis (82. 2%; P <.001), linear gingival erythema (70.0%; P =.015), hairy leukoplakia (66.3%; P <.001), angular cheilitis (60.0%; P =.128), and erythematous candidiasis (58.3%; P =.061). Necrotizing ulcerative periodontal diseases, HIV salivary gland disease, oral ulcers, and oral warts had PPVs below 50%. Concurrent infection with candidiasis and hairy leukoplakia had the highest PPV of 89.3%; P <. 001. PPVs for HIV RNA >/=20,000 copies/mL ranged from 27.3% to 100%, with significant association only for pseudomembranous candidiasis.


Specific common oral lesions are strongly associated with immune suppression, as measured by CD4 cell counts, and are modestly associated with high viral burden, thus serving as potential clinical markers of HIV viremia and the consequent destruction of the immune system with progressive HIV disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center