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Recognition of Dual or Multiple Pathology in Skin Biopsies from Patients with HIV/AIDS

  • Grayson W
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A large percentage of patients with HIV/AIDS will develop dermatological complications. Consequently, all practising clinicians and pathologists in regions with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS must be familiar with the diverse cutaneous manifestations of the disease. This paper highlights the fact that biopsy material in this clinical context may occasionally reveal more than one pathological process. The potential spectrum includes two or more infections in a single skin biopsy (e.g., herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus infection), neoplastic lesions containing infective organisms (Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and cryptococcosis), dermatoses in association with neoplastic lesions (e.g., KS and interface dermatitis), or more than one dermatosis in a given specimen (e.g., papulopruritic eruption and nodular prurigo). Rare biopsies may even demonstrate triple pathology. The importance of careful examination of skin biopsies in this clinical context is emphasised. Failure to recognise an undiagnosed concomitant opportunistic infective pathogen could have potentially disastrous consequences for the patient.




Grayson, W. (2011). Recognition of Dual or Multiple Pathology in Skin Biopsies from Patients with HIV/AIDS. Pathology Research International, 2011, 1–12.

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