Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Enteropathy, AIDS

  • Xavier SagaertEmail author
Reference work entry


AIDS enteropathy is a syndrome in an HIV-positive individual characterized by chronic, well-established diarrhea (greater than 1 month in duration) without an identified infectious cause after thorough evaluation (Zeitz et al. 1998). As such, AIDS enteropathy is a diagnosis of exclusion and can only be made after other forms of diarrheal illness have been ruled out. Indeed, reported evidence suggests that HIV itself may be an indirect diarrheal pathogen because viral proteins have been found in the gut. In situ hybridization of biopsies specimens obtained from the rectum and duodenum revealed HIV-infected cells in both the base of the crypts and within the lamina propria in up to 40% of patients; but while the virus was confined to lamina propria macrophages and enterochromaffin cells, it was found in epithelial cells (Nelson et al. 1988). Intestinal HIV infection may also affect local humoral immunity (with presence of high levels of interleukins IL-6, IL-10 and interferon...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Cello, J. P., & Day, L. W. (2009). Idiopathic AIDS enteropathy and treatment of gastrointestinal opportunistic pathogens (Vol.136, p. 1952, 2009). Gastroenterology, 137, 393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kotler, D. P. (2005). HIV infection and the gastrointestinal tract. Aids, 19, 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kotler, D. P., Scholes, J. V., & Tierney, A. R. (1987). Intestinal plasma-cell alterations in acquired-immunodeficiency-syndrome. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 32, 129–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Nelson, J. A., Reynoldskohler, C., Margaretten, W., Wiley, C. A., Reese, C. E., & Levy, J. A. (1988). Human immunodeficiency virus detected in bowel epithelium from patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. Lancet, 1, 259–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Zeitz, M., Ullrich, R., Schneider, T., Kewenig, S., Hohlock, K., & Riecken, E. O. (1998). HIV/SIV enteropathy. Intestinal Plasticity in Health and Disease, 859, 139–148.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospitals KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium