Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-82

Pathology of AIDS-Study from a Neuropsychiatric Centre from South India



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Santosh Vani


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The pathomorphological features noted in 47 cases of HIV/AIDS studied on autopsy (39 cases) and surgical biopsy material (8 cases) over a period of 8.5 years are described here. The serum samples of all cases and 26/29 CSF samples tested were positive for anti HIV antibodies. Majority of patients were young adult males in the age group 25-35 years. History of high risk behaviour was available in 59.6% cases. 38/39 autopsied cases succumbed to various opportunistic infections. Infection by a single pathogen was noted in 76.3% cases and due to multiple infectious agents in 23.7%. The commonest opportunistic infection was cryptococcosis (59%) followed by toxoplasma encephalities (28.2%) and tuberculous meningitis (25.6%). The others included meningococcal meningitis, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus and acanthamoeba encephalitis noted in one case each. Features meningococcal meningitis, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus and acanthamoeba encephalitis noted in one case each. Features of HIV leucoencephalitis was noted in one autopsy and tow brain biopsy specimens. Complete body necropsy carried out in 11/39 cases revealed disseminated cryptococcosis in 5, tuberculosis in 4 and features of HIV related changes of lymphoreticular organs in 3 cases. Pneumocystis carinil pneumonia was noted in 2 patients along with cryptococcosis. Diagnostic lymph node biopsy in 3 patients revealed tuberculous lymphadenitis in 2 and infection by non-tuberculous mycobacteria in one. Evidence of IIIV associated neuropathy was noted in 3 cases. In the present series, the incidence of cryptococcal meningitis was very high compared to neurotuberculosis as reported from other clinical and one autopsy series from other parts of India. Similarly, the incidence of toxoplasma encephalitis was also higher. The type of laboratory support and the experience of the pathologist play a crucial role in accurate identification of the pathogens. Therefore, a high index of clinical suspicion and a proper diagnostic approach to HIV/AIDS patients is required in developing countries to identify various pathological lesions.


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