Fatal Disseminated Cryptococcus as the Initial Presentation of HIV Infection in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Carrie L. Kovarik, Jeffrey J. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the availability of highly active antiretroviral treatment, many HIV-positive patients still present for the first time with a low CD4 count or an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) defining illness. This may be due to patients' refusal to be tested for HIV, delay in seeking medical treatment, or the misdiagnosis of an AIDS-associated condition. We present a 39-year-old African American male with undiagnosed HIV, who died shortly after arrival to the emergency room. An autopsy was performed at the Dallas County Medical Examiners' Office, and the cause of death was determined to be disseminated cryptococcosis. Further investigation at autopsy revealed HIV 1/2 antibody positivity and HIV western blot positivity. This case demonstrates the importance of considering complications of HIV as a cause of death, even when the patient has no prior history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-929
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Cryptococcus
  • Forensic science
  • HIV
  • autopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics

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