HIV as a cause of giant cell hepatitis

C. L. Witzleben, G. S. Marshall, W. Wenner, D. A. Piccoli, S. D. Barbour

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57 Scopus citations


The 9-month-old daughter of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive parents presented with cholestasis and was found on liver biopsy to have giant cell hepatitis. No viral inclusions or particles were seen by light or electron microscopy. Ultrastructural studies of the liver biopsy demonstrated tubuloreticular structures in the endothelium and cylindrical confronting cisternae in inflammatory cells in the portal tracts. Serologic studies for hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and Epstein-Barr viruses were negative. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) was cultured from the urine, but buffy coat, nasopharyngeal, and liver cultures were negative and CMV antibody titer was low. The hepatitis responded dramatically to prednisone therapy. A repeat biopsy several months later revealed similar morphologic findings. AIDS was suspected on clinical and immunologic grounds, and was confirmed by the demonstration of HIV-specific IgG and IgM in serum. Five months after initial presentation, the infant developed Pneumocystis pneumonia, disseminated CMV infection, and died. This appears to be the first reported association of infantile giant cell hepatitis with HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-605
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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