Digestive leishmaniasis in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: A light and electron microscopic study of two cases

Institute of Pathology, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Modern Pathology (Impact Factor: 6.19). 11/1996; 9(10):966-9.
Source: PubMed


An increased incidence of visceral leishmaniasis in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is observed in areas in which both infectious diseases are endemic. Intensive worldwide traveling has also resulted recently in an increasing number of leishmanial and HIV coinfections in nonendemic areas. We describe the clinical, light microscopic, and ultrastructural features of two cases of imported, HIV-related, visceral leishmaniasis involving the alimentary tract, including the esophagus, the stomach, the duodenum, the ileum, the colon, and the rectum. We also discuss the differentiation of leishmanial infections from other HIV-related gastrointestinal opportunistic infections.

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    • "However atypical forms of leishmaniasis are seen in patients with normal immune system as well. In HIVco- infected patients, cytopenia is generally more common while organomegaly is seen less frequently.[10] In our case, visceral leishmaniasis was not associated with organomegaly, but the bone marrow was involved. "
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    ABSTRACT: In endemic regions, visceral leishmaniasis is one of the most common opportunistic infections in HIV positive patients. Simultaneous infection with Leishmania and HIV has been reported in some countries but this is the first report of such a case in Iran. Our patient was a 27 years old man with intermittent night fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, watery diarrhea and severe weight loss for 6 months. He had low socio-economic status with an imprisonment history. The patient was quite cachectic and had low grade fever. Physical exam and upper GI endoscopy revealed oropharyngeal candidiasis. Microscopic evaluation of duodenal biopsy material showed Leishmania amastigotes in macrophages of lamina propria. Leishman bodies were also observed in bone marrow aspiration specimen. Serologic tests were positive for Leishmania infantum. HIV antibody was also positive with a CD4+cell count of 80/μl. The diagnosis was acquired immunodeficiency syndrome with simultaneous visceral leishmaniasis involving intestinal mucosa.
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    ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) due to Leishmania infantum is endemic in Southern France and can be considered as an opportunistic infection in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Co-infection with Leishmania sp. and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is emerging, but pathological findings of leishmaniasis in AIDS have been poorly documented, and scattered case reports have include morphological descriptions. The clinicopathologic analysis of 16 patients with HIV and VL were evaluated. The clinical presentation was characteristic of VL, with fever, hepatosplenomegaly, and pancytopenia in 6 patients, and the diagnosis was confirmed by finding amastigotes of Leishmania sp. in bone marrow smears and biopsy specimens. In 4 patients, the initial diagnosis of VL was made fortuitously in gastrointestinal biopsies performed systematically (3 patients) or in case of diarrhea (1 patient). In one duodenal biopsy, Leishmania sp. and Mycobacteria sp. were associated. Liver biopsy allowed the diagnosis of VL in 3 cases. Autopsy was performed in 9 patients, showing a disseminated leishmaniasis with very unusual localizations (adrenal and heart) in 2 cases. Cutaneous leishmaniasis involvement was noted before (4 patients), at the same time (2 patient), or after (1 patient) the diagnosis of VL. Inflammatory infiltrates noted with Leishmania sp. infection were made by CD68 macrophages with (8 patients) or without (8 patients) associated CD8 positive lymphocytes. Immunoperoxidase study using polyclonal anti-Leishmania sp. antibodies contributed to the diagnosis in all cases. Electron microscopy of 2 digestive biopsy specimens showed the ultrastructural characteristics of Leishmania sp. amastigotes. The zymodeme MON-1 of L infantum was identified by isoenzyme electrophoresis in all patients. The mean of CD4 counts was 37/mm3 at the time of diagnosis, and the mean duration before the death was 8 months. As shown in this study, VL in AIDS can be diagnosed in gastrointestinal or liver biopsies. Diagnosis of VL was made when the CD4 count was very low and was correlated with a poor prognosis.
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to determine the diagnostic value of electron microscopy in evaluating the etiology of gastrointestinal disease in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A retrospective review of electron microscopic and light microscopic results of all HIV-positive patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases was made during a 3-year period from June 1995 to June 1998. A total of 145 HIV-positive patients had their electron microscopy specimens reviewed. Of these, 136 were investigated for diarrhea, and the other 9 for increased liver enzymes. Twenty-seven of the 145 (18.6%) HIV-positive patients had a pathogen identified by electron microscopy, compared with only 13 of 145 (9%) identified by light microscopy (P < 0.005). The sensitivity of light microscopy for detecting opportunistic pathogens was 68%. Twenty-one of the 27 (77.8%) patients diagnosed by electron microscopy had microsporidiosis, and the most commonly diagnosed species was Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Light microscopy failed to identify 12 cases of microsporidiosis and 2 cases of leishmaniasis. Electron microscopy contributes substantially to the identification of pathogens in HIV-positive patients. Light microscopy failed to identify one of every two pathogens diagnosed by electron microscopy.
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