Clinical and Diagnostic findings of Pleural Involvement in Patients having Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection from Western part of India

  • Ramakant Dixit Professor & Unit Head, Department of Respiratory Medicine, J. L. N. Medical College, Ajmer
  • Lokendra Dave Professor, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal.
  • Rakesh C. Gupta Former Senior Professor and Head, Department of Respiratory Medicine, J. L. N. Medical College, Ajmer .
Keywords: HIV infection, pleural effusion, pneumothorax.



Background: Pleural effusions are not uncommon in patients with HIV infection, however; there is paucity of data on type and description of pleural involvement in HIV infected patients from countries like India where the disease is highly rampant. Objectives/aims: Present study describes the clinical, radiological, pathological and bacteriological profile of pleural involvement in HIV infected patients.
Methods: Patients with HIV infection having pleural effusion and/or pneumothorax were subjected to detailed clinical evaluation followed by in depth diagnostic workup including radiological assessment, sputum examination, pleurocentesis, pleural fluid biochemistry, cytology, smear and/or culture for bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, pleural biopsy, tuberculin skin testing etc.

Results: Pleural involvement occurred in 34 out of 150 (22.6%) patients with HIV infection. Pleural effusion was seen in 32 (94.1%) cases and pneumothorax in two cases. All pleural effusions were exudates in nature. In 20(58.8%) cases, underlying pulmonary parenchymal disease was evident. Pleural involvement was more common on left side (47%). Tuberculosis was the underlying cause of pleural involvement in 28(82.3%) cases. Four (11.7%) cases had empyema thoracis.
Conclusion: Tuberculosis is the most common cause of pleural effusion in patients having HIV infection followed by bacterial pneumonia from this part of country.