Hepatobiliary and pancreatic infections in AIDS: Part one

Andrew P. Keaveny, Michael S. Karasik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Infections of the liver and biliary tract are common during the course of AIDS. A variety of viral, bacterial, fungal, and other opportunistic infections can present with hepatobiliary involvement as either the primary site of infection or secondary to a disseminated process. Coinfection with hepatitis B and C are particularly common due to the shared means of transmission of these viruses with HIV. The typical presenting features of hepatobiliary infections are right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain and abnormal liver function tests. Initial evaluation should include an RUQ ultrasonogram, which will usually identify abnormalities in the biliary tract and may demonstrate some parenchymal abnormalities as well. A liver biopsy is necessary to determine the etiology of focal hepatic lesions or opportunistic infections within hepatic parenchyma when other less invasive tests are negative or inconclusive. Special stains and culture techniques are required to identify specific organisms in the biopsy specimen. HIV-related biliary disorders include acalculous cholecystitis, which is a potentially serious condition requiring prompt recognition and gallbladder decompression. AIDS- cholangiopathy is a form of cholangitis involving the intra- and/or extrahepatic biliary tree. Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is the test of choice, demonstrating the stricturing, dilatation, and beading of bile ducts seen in this condition. Endoscopic sphincterotomy of the papilla of Vater may provide symptomatic relief for patients with papillary stenosis. Opportunistic infections of the pancreas have been reported. Evaluation should include a computerized tomogram of the abdomen and possible pancreatic tissue aspiration or biopsy. Management of pancreatitis is supportive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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