Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Findings in HIV-Infected Patients in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Russell Parvin, Sindhura Kolli, Jamil Shah, Manan Jhaveri, Madhavi Reddy


Background: Endoscopic evaluation with biopsies are instrumental in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), especially in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 304 HIV-positive and 199 HIV-negative patients who had undergone upper and/or lower endoscopy in an urban community hospital from the years 2012 - 2017 was performed. Inclusion criteria included men and women between the ages of 45 to 75 years, which had undergone colonoscopies between within 2012 - 2017 and had tested positive for HIV. They were selected from that population if they had complete charts that included information regarding symptoms, viral load, cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) count, prescribed HAART medication, findings from the upper and lower colonoscopy both from the gastroenterologist’s report and pathologist’s report. Only then would they be added to the pool of final selection that we could compute data from and draw conclusions.

Results: Among HIV patients, those with less than 200 CD4 cells/µL counts had lower rates of diverticulosis and hemorrhoids, as compared with those with greater than 200 cells/µL counts. Other gross and histological findings (from either upper or lower endoscopy) were not statistically different between these two groups. In HIV-positive patients, gastritis, Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection, and esophagitis were significantly less common, while Candida esophagitis was more common. Among HIV patients taking different HAART regimens, the prevalence of peptic ulcers was significantly higher in those taking IIs than that in those who were not.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the possibility that the GI symptoms in HIV-infected patients on HAART may be due to an opportunistic infection, even when the CD4 count is more than 200 cells/µL and the viral load is low.

Gastroenterol Res. 2018;11(2):95-99
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr973w



Endoscopy; Colonoscopy; HIV; HAART; AIDS

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