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Hum Pathol. 2010 Dec;41(12):1777-87. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2010.06.007.

Opportunistic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in the age of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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Department of Pathology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


Since the 1996 advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the incidence of most opportunistic disorders in the developed world has dramatically declined but definitely has not disappeared. The number of new yearly HIV infections (about 55,000) and the total number of US infections (more than 1.1 million) remain very significant. Post-HAART gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and biopsy results are still common, especially in large inner-city hospitals. The same opportunistic GI disorders were diagnosed in 442 endoscopies performed since 1996 as before, but at about one half the rate. The esophagus had the highest rate of positive biopsy results (46%), especially due to Candida. Helicobacter pylori infection has become the most common gastric infection. The small bowel still showed cytomegalovirus (CMV), cryptosporidia, and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infections. In decreasing order, the most common large bowel infections were CMV, cryptosporidiosis, MAC, and spirochetosis. Cases of adenovirus, bacterial colitis, Kaposi sarcoma, and lymphoma were still diagnosed. Rectal biopsy specimens were the least productive. Microsporidiosis is now being diagnosed with special stains. Thus, where HIV/AIDS is common, it is important to be able to diagnose these GI processes. In addition to presenting post-HAART incidences, diagnostic features and aids are described for selected entities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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