Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2001 Aug;125(8):1042-6.

The histopathology of 103 consecutive colonoscopy biopsies from 82 symptomatic patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: original and look-back diagnoses.

Author information

Department of Pathology, George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA.



To compare the primary diagnoses assigned by general surgical pathologists on a series of 103 consecutive colon biopsies from individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with diagnoses rendered by a pathologist with extensive experience in gastrointestinal pathology in HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.


New sections were cut from paraffin blocks of 103 consecutive colon biopsies taken during colonoscopies of 82 different HIV-infected patients; all new sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin. These individuals either had negative stool studies or had failed to respond to therapy and had chronic large bowel symptoms, such as frequent small volume-type diarrhea, tenesmus, and/or bright red blood per rectum. Immunohistochemistry for cytomegalovirus (CMV) was performed on 18 of 22 specimens originally diagnosed with CMV colitis.


The initial study yielded 70 (68%) negative or nonspecific diagnoses, 22 (21%) cases of CMV colitis, 5 (5%) Cryptosporidium diagnoses, 2 cases each of adenomatous polyps and Kaposi sarcoma, and 1 case each of spirochetosis and squamous cell carcinoma of the anorectum. Review of the recuts yielded 64 (62%) negative or nonspecific diagnoses, 12 (12%) new adenovirus infections (3 combined with CMV), and 11 (11%) lone CMV infections. Three attaching and effacing bacterial infections were diagnosed, 1 with adenovirus coinfection. A total of 4 spirochetosis cases were found on review. Seven (7%) of the biopsies showed at least 1 coinfection. Nine biopsies had features suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease.


Colonoscopy with biopsy after negative stool studies or failure to respond to therapy yielded a high proportion of negative or nonspecific diagnoses. Adenovirus and enteropathogenic bacterial infections had been totally overlooked on initial examination. It takes particular experience to evaluate gastrointestinal biopsies from HIV-infected patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Allen Press, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Support Center