The abdominal manifestations in the patient with HIV infection are increasingly frequent. We have conducted the present study in order to determine the diagnostic usefulness of the abdominal echography in the clinical assessment of the patient.
We review the echographic findings of 112 patients carrying the HIV with or without the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Seventy eight patients were men and 34, women, with an average age of 30 years. The main risk group was parenterally drug addiction (72%). The stage of the HIV infection was IVC1 in 41% of the cases, II in 23%, III in 13% and IVC2 in 13%. The echographic exploration was performed using a real-time echography, with a probe of 3.5 Mhz, assessing according to conventional criteria the abdominal organs and their pathology, masses and free intraabdominal fluid. The echographic characteristics were first broadly assessed in the patients from the series and later on, according to the patient's pathology. (Infectious, acute abdominal, hepatic biochemical disorders, HIV carrier-associated pathology).
In 33% of the cases, the echography was normal. Hepatomegaly was the most frequent echographic sign: 56 patients (50%), followed by splenomegaly in 43 patients (38.3%), standing out the affection of the biliary and/or vesicular ductus in 7 patients (6.2%). The echographic findings were not related to the HIV infection stage, nor with the presence of hepatic biochemical disorders. However, the presence of organomegaly (hepatosplenomegaly associated or not to retroperitoneal adenopathies) were more frequent in the group with infectious complication, 33.3% vs 19.6% (p < 0.01), that in the patients without associated infectious processes. In patients with medical or surgical acute abdominal pathology, the echography was diagnostic in 9 out of 10 patients.
In the HIV patient, the echography allows an specific initial diagnostic assessment, being able in most of the patients with abdominal manifestations to diagnose the causal pathology.
Anales de medicina interna (Madrid, Spain: 1984) 03/1995; 12(3):115-21.