L'AIDS nell'età pediatrica.

Translated title of the contribution: AIDS in childhood

F. Bellini, A. Plebani, P. Barbaccia, S. Bolzoni, G. P. Grumieri, M. A. Pavesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV infection in infants is transmitted through the placenta. Antibodies reduce and annul in nearly 18 months: HIV + subjects older than 18 months are considered as infected and divided into two classes--i.e., P1: infected and P2: AIDS. The most interesting clinical and diagnostic imaging findings are reported relative to 209 babies who were born HIV + and followed-up with clinical and laboratory tests plus chest films, brain and abdomen US to assess the presence of changes and their evolution features. The following conclusions have been drawn: 1) in their early life, HIV + subjects are especially liable to the action of bacteria, viruses and protozoa: their respiratory system is easily affected with acute, recurring and/or chronic inflammations which are frequently associated with heart enlargement from dilatative cardiomyopathy. Bacterial inflammations are characterized by single or multiple opacities, with blurred and irregular patterns, which are frequently confluent in areas of inhomogeneous opacity. The diagnosis of virus and protozoa infections is more difficult because of their radiologic patterns--i.e., linear fan-like opacities, small shadow areas, enlarged hila. In some cases radiology demonstrates only or mostly lung hyperexpansion, with no opaque images, which however does not exclude the presence of severe and diffuse bronchioloalveolar and interstitial compromission with high-grade pulmonary insufficiency. The common association of cytomegalovirus and Pneumocystis carinii infections with slow-evolution changes and frequent recurrences appears on radiologic images as diffuse and blurred shadows and irregular cotton-like opacities. 2) Brain and abdomen US scans in the newborn show no particular changes, while in the following months both US and CT demonstrate hydrocephalic, atrophic and hemorrhagic changes. 3) In both early and late infancy, lung infections are mostly caused by pneumocystis and cytomegalovirus. Chronic interstitial lymphocyte pneumonia is a peculiar finding with punctiform images in the bases of lung and spreading craniocaudally with similar features to miliary tuberculosis. Different than in the adult, in our series of 209 infants no tubercular abnormalities were observed: in one patient only an active primary complex was demonstrated with broncholavage. Candida infections were observed in 3 patients in their late infancy. Hepatopancreatic and lymph node changes suggesting probably evolving inflammation were uncommon in our series; this condition must be followed-up and checked over time.

Translated title of the contributionAIDS in childhood
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number5 Suppl 2
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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