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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Dec;124(12):1773-9.

Characteristics of salivary diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome in West Africa.

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Department of Pathology, Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA.



To determine the prevalence of diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome (DILS) in the minor salivary glands of 30 African Cameroonian adults with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).


Salivary gland tissue was analyzed using a modified classification system that was developed to aid the diagnosis of Sjögren syndrome. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are discussed.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, hematoxylin-eosin-stained biopsy sections were prepared for 30 patients with AIDS, 26 healthy individuals who declined human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, and 4 seronegative healthy controls. Tissues were immunostained for CD4/CD8+ lymphocytes and cytomegalovirus (CMV), and transmission electron microscopy was performed to locate viral particles. Patients were tested for HIV-1 and HIV-2 by the HIV/Chek System 3 or CAMSTIX-HIV-1 and HIV-2 assay.


Severe salivary ductal atypia (96%) was the feature most strongly associated with AIDS, and the lymphocytic focus score was the second histologic feature most strongly correlated with AIDS. Forty-eight percent of patients with HIV-1 infection had more than 1 lymphocytic focus in a minor salivary gland. These lymphocytes were primarily CD8+. We report, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of multinucleated salivary duct epithelial cells in minor salivary glands also containing enveloped virus particles. All cases were negative for CMV.


The prevalence of DILS in West Africans with AIDS appears higher than the prevalence reported in whites from the United States and Europe and in blacks from the United States, a group that has been reported to have a greater incidence of DILS than whites. This discrepancy may be related to differences in patient selection criteria. The determination of lymphocytic focus score, as used in the diagnosis of Sjögren syndrome, with the adjunct of ductal atypia is useful for assessing DILS. The impact of patient selection, drug therapy, and parasites on salivary gland pathology is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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