Endoscopy findings in HIV-infected children from sub-Saharan Africa

Cooke M.L. ; Goddard E.A. ; Brown R.A. (2009)


Background: The causes of persistent gastro-intestinal symptoms in HIV-infected children from sub-Saharan Africa remain poorly documented. Methods: The clinical, radiological and endoscopic findings of all HIV-infected children who underwent upper GI endoscopy at Red Cross Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa, from February 2003 to October 2005 were documented. Results: Twenty-six HIV-infected children underwent endoscopy; median age 1 year (range: 0.17-10.9 years). The majority had advanced HIV disease; 18 (69%) were WHO Stage 4; median CD4 10.7% (range: 1-39.8%). Presenting symptoms included persistent vomiting (18), dysphagia (4) and GIT bleed (6). Observational and histological findings showed poor correlation. Pathogens were identified in 10 children: cytomegalovirus infection in seven (two with cryptosporidium co-infection), Candida in two, Helicobacter pylori in one. Age and CD4 count were not associated with the pathogens. Endoscopy findings influenced clinical management in 21 (81%) cases. Conclusion: Upper-GI endoscopy identified a diverse spectrum of disease and provided information that would be clinically relevant to most HIV-infected children with upper gastro-intestinal symptoms. © The Author [2009]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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