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Changing patterns of autopsy findings among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in an inner-city population. A 12-year retrospective study.

Sehonanda, A Choi, Y J Blum, S
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    OBJECTIVE--To determine patterns of autopsy findings among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) during a 12-year period. DESIGN AND SETTING--All 168 autopsies performed on adult AIDS patients at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City between 1982 and 1993 were analyzed. The Center is a 725-bed, acute-care facility in the south Bronx, which serves a population of approximately half a million people. High poverty levels, tuberculosis and AIDS incidence, and intravenous drug abuse are common in this population. Subjects were predominantly Hispanic and black. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Changes in the frequency of single and multiple opportunistic infections in general and frequencies of specific infections during the 12-year period. RESULTS--Through 1986, 75% of AIDS autopsies demonstrated single infections, particularly Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Since 1987, 72% of autopsies demonstrated multiple infections related to P carinii pneumonia, mycobacteriosis, cytomegalovirus, and various fungi. During the last 3 years, the prevalence of mycobacterial infections was higher than in the previous 9 years combined. In contrast, P carinii pneumonia decreased from 52% in 1988 to 14% in 1993. CONCLUSIONS--We note the recent emergence of multiple infections by multiple organisms, a significant decrease in the prevalence of P carinii pneumonia, and a slight increase in mycobacterial tuberculosis. Awareness of these changing patterns of infection may be useful in treating persons with AIDS.


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