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Dig Dis Sci. 1995 Jan;40(1):183-5.

Bacterial esophagitis associated with CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia without HIV infection. Possible role of corticosteroid treatment.

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Department of Medicine and Gastroenterology, Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-5166.


Although infectious esophagitis is usually due to infection with Candida, herpes virus, or cytomegalovirus, bacterial esophagitis is occasionally observed. Recently, patients have been reported with CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia without HIV infection. Bacterial esophagitis per se has not been reported in these patients. We report the case of an 80-year-old patient admitted with a COPD exacerbation after being on chronic steroids. The patient developed esophageal symptoms and was found to have bacterial esophagitis by biopsy. Her CD4+ counts were found to be low, but she denied HIV risk factors and HIV testing was negative. Her CD4+ counts rose into the normal range as her steroids were tapered, and her esophagitis improved on antibiotics. This case is reported to alert physicians to the possible association of bacterial esophagitis with CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia without HIV infection and to discuss the possible etiological role of corticosteroid treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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