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Hepatic disease in patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

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The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is now the leading cause of death in the world. Liver involvement in opportunistic infections and neoplasms affecting patients with human immunodeficiency disease syndrome are common. Many of these patients also take many medicines and toxins that are potentially harmful to the liver. This is an overview on the aetiology and possible diagnostic guide to determine liver involvement in patients with HIV infection. A literature review was performed on major published series on the liver and HIV infection between 1985 and 1999, both years inclusive. Data and opinions from 5 general reviews and 31 original articles from MEDLINE on liver disease in patients with HIV infection regarding aetiology, pathology, presentation and patient evaluation are summarised. The liver is frequently affected in patients with AIDS. The majority of the patients have hepatomegaly and abnormal liver enzymes secondary to involvement with opportunities infections, AIDS associated neoplasms and drug therapy. Most of the infections reach the liver by lymphohaematogeneous spread from other sites in the body. Methodical approach in patient evaluation is therefore essential for prompt diagnosis and treatment to minimise morbidity and early mortality. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 11(3-4) 2004: 78-86

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