Post-mortem histological pulmonary analysis in patients with HIV/AIDS






OBJECTIVES: Certain aspects of pulmonary pathology observed in autopsies of HIV/AIDS patients are still unknown. This study considers 250 autopsies of HIV/AIDS patients who died of acute respiratory failure and describes the demographic data, etiology, and histological pulmonary findings of the various pathologies. METHODS: The following data were obtained: age, sex, and major associated diseases (found at the autopsy). Pulmonary histopathology was categorized as: diffuse alveolar damage; pulmonary edema; alveolar hemorrhage; and acute interstitial pneumonia. Odds ratio of the HIV/AIDS-associated diseases developing a specific histopathological pattern was determined by logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 197 men and 53 women were studied. The mean age was 36 years. Bacterial bronchopneumonia was present in 36% (91 cases) and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in 27% (68) of patients. Pulmonary histopathology showed acute interstitial pneumonia in 40% (99), diffuse alveolar damage in 36% (89), pulmonary edema in 13% (33), and alveolar hemorrhage in 12% (29) of patients. Multivariate analysis showed a significant and positive association between Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia and acute interstitial pneumonia (Odds ratio, 4.51; 95% CI, 2.46 - 8.24; p < 0.001), severe sepsis and/or septic shock and diffuse alveolar damage (Odds ratio, 3.60; 95% CI, 1.78 -7.27; p < 0.001), and cytomegalovirus and acute interstitial pneumonia (Odds ratio, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.01 - 4.93; p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This report is the first autopsy study to include demographic data, etiologic diagnosis, and respective histopathological findings in patients with HIV/AIDS and acute respiratory failure. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the complete pulmonary physiopathological mechanism involved with each HIV/AIDS-associated disease.

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