A study on otorhinolaryngologic manifestations in human immunodeficiency virus infected patients


  • Shanmuga Ashok S. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Rajendran S. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Chengalpattu Government Medical College, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India




HIV, AIDS, Oral hairy leukoplakia, Kaposi sarcoma, Oral candidiasis, Tubercular laryngitis


Background: The main aim of this study was to find out the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) manifestations in a selected regional population of 100 HIV infected patients, to identify the commoner ENT manifestations among them and to make these manifestations, a guide for regional ENT surgeons, to diagnose HIV/AIDS patients early and to treat them accordingly.

Methods: The study was a prospective study which was conducted for a period of five years which included 100 HIV seropositive patients, among the patients attending the Outpatient Department of the Otorhinolaryngology and anti-retroviral therapy centre across Government Hospitals in Tamil Nadu according to our inclusion or exclusion criteria. Detailed ENT clinical examination as well as laboratory investigations were carried out to evaluate the nature of ENT presentations of HIV infection.  

Results: Out of the 100 HIV positive patients, who had some form of ENT symptoms, the most common ENT manifestation in HIV/AIDS was oral candidiasis (40%) followed by cervical lymphadenopathy (30%). Other common manifestations are oral herpes simplex and sensorineural hearing loss. Less common manifestations are chronic sinusitis, tuberculous laryngitis, chronic otitis media, oral hairy leukoplakia, nasal polyps and Kaposi’s sarcoma. Oral candidiasis, chronic/recurrent mucocutaneous herpes simplex, oral hairy leukoplakia and Kaposi’s sarcoma are the AIDS defining illnesses. Oral hairy leukoplakia, is pathognomonic of HIV infection.

Conclusions: These manifestations help ENT surgeons, to recognize HIV/AIDS patients from the specific ENT lesions occurring in them, for early diagnosis and subsequent treatment.


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Original Research Articles