Infection from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is well known for the particular host susceptibility to a variety of opportunistic infections and unusual malignant neoplasms. Although no tumor develops exclusively in concomitance with HIV infection, malignancies in these patients have different clinical behaviour, response to treatment and prognosis than the pattern observed in HIV negative hosts. Kaposi's sarcoma (EKS) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) are tumors per se diagnostic of AIDS in patients with HIV infection. From 1987 to 1991, 210 HIV positive patients underwent ENT examination without symptom-related selection: 128 were intravenous drug users, 50 homosexual males, 22 heterosexuals, 4 intravenous male homosexual drug users, 3 blood recipients and 3 subjects without known risk factors. Sixteen were allocated in group II, 37 in III, 9 in IV A, 2 in IV B, 31 in IV C1, 37 in IV C2, 48 in IV D and 30 in IV E. Fourteen had head and neck EKS localization. All were males, with a median age of 40 of which 11/14 were homosexuals. The concomitant involvement of skin and mucosa was the most common manifestation and the palate was the most frequently affected mucosal site. Twenty-four had NHL localized within the head and neck: 21 males and 4 females with a average age of 38, 10 intravenous drug users, 9 homosexual males, 3 heterosexuals, 1 blood recipient, 1 subject without known risk factors. Extranodal localization was the most frequent characteristic while the gums were the most commonly involved site. The main characteristics of head and neck manifestations of EKS and NHL are reported with references to literature. The majority of HIV infected patients with EKS or NHL have ENT localizations, perhaps because lymphatic tissue, a HIV target, is well represented in this area and contamination by infectious agents (such as Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus, probably involved in the pathogenesis of EKS and NHL) can easily occur in the head and neck. The otolaryngologist should be aware of the various, and sometimes misleading, characteristics of these diseases.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1992|
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