The objectives of this study were to describe the clinical presentations and outcomes of all HIV+ patients who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with a chief complaint of abdominal pain and to compare the outcomes of those with advanced disease (CD4 < 200/mm3) to those with early or middle stage disease (CD4 ≥ 200/mm3). We conducted a retrospective chart review in an urban municipal hospital ED and included subjects if they were HIV+ and had a chief complaint of abdominal pain. Demographic and clinical data were entered into a standardized database; patients with advanced disease were compared with those with early or middle stage disease. One hundred eight patient visits were reviewed. The mean age was 37 ± 7.6 years with mean CD4 count of 263/mm3; 44% had CD4 counts <200/mm3. Abdominal pain of unknown etiology, gastroenteritis/diarrhea, and ulcer disease/gastritis/dyspepsia were the three most common diagnostic categories for all patients. With the exception of disseminated mycobacterial disease, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. AIDS-associated opportunistic infections represented only 10% of the ED diagnosis of those patients with advanced disease. Only 8% of patients required intra-abdominal surgical procedures, however, 37% were admitted compared with 18% of patients without HIV disease (p < 0.001). Patients infected with HIV presenting with abdominal pain most often have a non-HIV related cause of abdominal pain and infrequently require surgery. However, HIV+ patients are admitted at twice the rate of the non-HIV infected population. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.
Yoshida, D., & Michael Caruso, J. (2002). Abdominal pain in the HIV infected patient. Journal of Emergency Medicine, 23(2), 111–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0736-4679(02)00498-5