Multiform spectrum of pulmonary disease in lethal HIV infection cases in Latvia (2012–2016)


  • Regina Kleina Department of Pathology, Riga Stradiņš University; Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital, Pathology centre, Riga
  • Olga Fjodorova Department of Pathology, Riga Stradiņš University, Riga
  • Anita Dabužinskienė Institute of Anatomy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas
  • Jurijs Nazarovs Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital, Pathology centre, Riga
  • Oksana Mahmajeva Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital, Pathology centre, Riga



pulmonary opportunistic infections, tuberculosis, malignancies, HIV


In 2016, the proportion of HIV-infected persons in the Baltic countries was as follows: Latvia 18.5, Estonia 17.4, Lithuania 7.4 per 100,000 of population. The aim of our study was to evaluate the spectrum and morphology of combined lung pathologies in fatal HIV/AIDS cases in Latvia from 2010 to 2016. We did a retrospective review of the HIV/AIDS patients’ medical autopsy case files and histological slides at the Pathology Centre of Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital. All statistical data were processed in IBM SPSS Statistics 23. We analysed 455 cases – 311 (69%) men, 134 (31%) women. The mean age of the analysed patients was 40 years (±9 SD, range 22–68). The conditions leading to death were opportunistic infections (OI) – 28%, tuberculosis (TB) – 23%, wasting syndrome complicated by nonspecific pneumonia and sepsis or HIV/AIDS unrelated conditions – 27%, malignancies – 11% (B large cell lymphoma, primary and secondary cancers of the lung, Kaposi sarcoma), and end stage liver disease – 11%. Lungs were affected in 380 cases (83.5%). We identified 112 cases of tuberculosis (TB). In 21%, it was isolated pulmonary TB, in 79% – disseminated TB. Additionally, OI were proved in 26% of these patients. The prevalence of OI was higher in patients who died from isolated pulmonary TB. We also identified 10 cases of disseminated atypical mycobacteriosis. Opportunistic infections were diagnosed in 126 persons – 77% (n=97) of them had one, but 23% (n=29) had two or more OIs. The most common isolated OI with lung involvement was Pneumocystis jiroveci (PC) pneumonia (n=71, 15.6%); 10% had cryptococcosis, 1% – pulmonary aspergillosis and Candida pneumonia each. 40 patients (9%) had disseminated cytomegalovirus (CMV). Among the various combinations of oppor tunistic infections, the most common was PC+CMV. 81% of HIV patients were unemployed and prisoners with interrupted treatment. We concluded that our study revealed that combined opportunistic infections and TB were the most frequently observed pulmonary infections, followed by primary and secondary lung malignancies and bacterial pneumonia in HIV/AIDS unrelated cases of multiorgan disease. Diagnostic difficulties occurred mainly in disseminated diseases due to nonspecific clinical presentation, similar appearance on imaging studies and limited bacterial diagnostic possibilities after death.


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