Arteriopathy in children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Vijay V. Joshi, Bruce Pawel, Edward Connor, Leroy Sharer, James M. Oleske, Susan Morrison, Jose Marin-Garcia, Renu Virmani

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174 Scopus citations


Pathologic features of the arteries of different organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen, intestine, brain) seen at autopsy in 6 children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are described. Small and medium-sized arteries, which were the most commonly involved, showed intimal fibrosis with fragmentation of elastic tissue, fibrosis and calcification of media with variable luminal narrowing, and a vasculitis or perivasculitis that was seen only in the brain in association with AIDS encephalopathy. In 1 case aneurysms of the right coronary artery with thrombosis and myocardial infarction were seen. Vascular inflammation, seen only in the brain, may be related to the agent associated with AIDS encephalopathy. The fibrocalcific arterial lesions most closely resemble idiopathic arterial calcification of infancy, but because of differences in age incidence, clinicopathologic and immunologic features, and the size and distribution of the involved arteries, the arterial lesions of pediatric AIDS appear to constitute a distinctive arteriopathy. Infection, secondary to immunodeficiency and resulting in increased exposure to endogenous and exogenous elastases, may be the pathogenesis. Luminal narrowing caused by arterial lesions may play a contributory role in the pathogenesis of the atrophy, cell depletion, scarring, and necrosis or infarction found in organs of children with AIDS. Pediatricians should be alerted to the possibility of arterial involvement in pediatric AIDS..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
JournalFetal and Pediatric Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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