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Periodontitis as an early presentation of HIV infection.


Can Med Assoc J. 1991 May 15;144(10):1265-9. Unique Identifier :

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the presence of rapidly progressive periodontitis (RPP) in people at high risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may be the first symptom of previously unrecognized human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. DESIGN: Case series. SETTING: Dental clinic. PATIENTS: Twenty patients who presented or were referred to the dental clinic over 6 months for the treatment of unexplained RPP and were at high risk for AIDS. OUTCOME MEASURES: Diagnosis of HIV infection: identification of candidal organisms in cytologic smears, determination of complete and differential blood counts and of ratio between T4 (helper) and T8 (suppressor) lymphocytes, and performance of HIV antibody assays. MAIN RESULTS: All of the patients were men, although sex was not an inclusion criterion. Sixteen (80%) of the 20 patients were found to have HIV infection. Four had been aware that they were HIV positive: two admitted it only when their T4:T8 ratio was known and the other two when the T4:T8 test was explained or requested. Fifteen of the patients were homosexual, three came from AIDS-endemic areas, and two had hemophilia. The RPP was responsible for alveolar bone loss in all of the patients. One patient lost bone in one site because of localized osteomyelitis. Only five patients had concurrent candidal overgrowth, and three had Kaposi's sarcoma. The mean T4:T8 ratio was 0.57 (standard deviation 0.52). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that periodontal disease may be one of the first clinical presentations of previously undiagnosed HIV infection. Thus, patients at high risk for AIDS who present with aggressive periodontal disease should be investigated for possible HIV infection. However, further, prospective studies are required to confirm the contention that RPP is one of the first signs of HIV infection or AIDS.

Adult Alveolar Bone Loss/COMPLICATIONS Candidiasis, Oral/ETIOLOGY Human HIV Antibodies/ANALYSIS HIV Infections/BLOOD/*COMPLICATIONS Leukocyte Count Male Middle Age Periodontitis/*ETIOLOGY Sarcoma, Kaposi's/ETIOLOGY JOURNAL ARTICLE


Information in this article was accurate in August 30, 1991. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.