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Vasculitides associated with HIV infection
  1. R Chetty
  1. Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Nelson R Mandela Medical School, University of Natal, Private Bag 7, Congella 4013, Durban, South Africa
  1. Professor Chetty chettyr{at}


The manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are protean and vasculitides are one of the less common but nonetheless important consequences. A wide range of vasculitides can be encountered, ranging from vasculitis resulting from specific infective agents to a non-specific vasculitis. Among the infective causes, cytomegalovirus and tuberculosis are probably the most common. A polyarteritis nodosa-like vasculitis with important differences to classic polyarteritis nodosa is also described. Hypersensitivity vasculitis resulting in several patterns of vasculitis and angiocentric immunoproliferative vasculitis are well recognised. As part of the immunocompromise caused by HIV, a granulomatous inflammation involving small arteries and veins of the brain surface and leptomeninges, termed a primary angiitis of the central nervous system, is a rare vasculitis associated with high mortality. A recently described large vessel (aorta, femorals, carotids) vasculopathy resulting in either multiple aneurysm formation or occlusive disease is seen in young adults. An infective agent is not found but aetiologically some of these lesions might be the result of a leucocytoclastic vasculitis of vasa vasora or periadventitial vessels. A final group of non-specific vasculitides not fitting into any of the characteristic patterns described accounts for the residue of vasculitides associated with HIV.

  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • vasculitis
  • immunocompromise

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