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Clin Radiol. 2004 Jul;59(7):596-601.

Imaging features of multicentric Castleman's disease in HIV infection.

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Clinical Radiology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.



To describe the computed tomography (CT) features of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated Castleman's disease.


Nine HIV-positive patients with biopsy-proven Castleman's disease were studied. Clinical and demographic data, CD4 count, histological diagnosis and human herpes type 8 (HHV8) serology or immunostaining results were recorded. CT images were reviewed independently by two radiologists.


CT findings included splenomegaly (n=7) and peripheral lymph node enlargement (axillary n=8, inguinal n=4). All nodes displayed mild to avid enhancement after intravenous administration of contrast material. Hepatomegaly was evident in seven patients. Other features included abdominal (n=6) and mediastinal (n=5) lymph node enlargement and pulmonary abnormalities (n=4). Patterns of parenchymal abnormality included bronchovascular nodularity (n=2) consolidation (n=1) and pleural effusion (n=2). On histological examination eight patients (spleen n=3, lymph node n=9, lung n=1, bone marrow n=1) had the plasma cell variant and one had mixed hyaline-vascular/plasma cell variant. The majority had either positive immunostaining for HHV8 or positive serology (n=8).


Common imaging features of multicentric Castleman's disease in HIV infection are hepatosplenomegaly and peripheral lymph node enlargement. Although these imaging features may suggest the diagnosis in the appropriate clinical context, they lack specificity and so biopsy is needed for diagnosis. In distinction from multicentric Castleman's disease in other populations the plasma cell variant is most commonly encountered, splenomegaly is a universal feature and there is a strong association with Kaposi's sarcoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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