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HIV Med. 2001 Oct;2(4):266-71.

Pulmonary pathology in patients with AIDS: an autopsy study from Mumbai.

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Department of Pathology, Grant Medical College, and Sir JJ Hospital, Mumbai, India.



Although India has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the associated pathologies responsible for morbidity have not been evaluated previously in a representative study. Hence, an autopsy study was carried out to analyse the spectrum of pulmonary lesions in patients with HIV/AIDS.


A retrospective and prospective autopsy study was carried out during 1988-2000 at Mumbai, India. Lungs from 143 adults, with at least 10 sections from each case, were examined using routine and special stains.


The risk factors for 97 men (68%) and 38 women (27%) included: heterosexual sex with multiple partners (135 cases, 95%); blood transfusions (three cases; 2%); sex between men (two cases; 1%); and unknown risk factors (three cases, 2%). Pulmonary pathology was observed in 126 (88%) cases. The lesions identified were tuberculosis (85 cases, 59%), bacterial pneumonia (26 cases, 18%), cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection (10 cases, 7%), cryptococcosis (eight cases, 6%), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (seven cases, 5%), aspergillosis (four cases, 3%), toxoplasmosis (two cases, 1%), Kaposi's sarcoma (one case, 1%), squamous cell carcinoma (one case, 1%). Two or more infections were observed in 18 (13%) cases.


Pulmonary diseases and risk factors among patients with AIDS in India differ from those reported in industrialized countries. Tuberculosis was the most frequently observed pulmonary infection, followed by bacterial pneumonia and CMV pneumonitis. In contrast with industrialized countries, PCP remains less common in our patients. The information on opportunistic infections obtained in this study will be useful for managing HIV/AIDS cases at district level hospitals where diagnosing specific HIV-associated diseases is not always possible.

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