Esophageal candidiasis in human immunodeficiency virus-infected pediatric patients after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Christine C. Chiou, Andreas H. Groll, Nikolaos Mavrogiorgos, Lauren V. Wood, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To investigate epidemiologic trends, clinical features and outcome of esophageal candidiasis in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy in a prospectively monitored population of HIV-infected children and adolescents followed at the National Cancer Institute. Patients and methods. The records of all HIV-infected pediatric patients (n = 266) followed between 1995 and 2000 were reviewed for a history of esophageal candidiasis. Proven esophageal candidiasis was defined as clinical plus radiographic and/or endoscopic findings of esophageal candidiasis. Probable esophageal candidiasis was defined as esophageal symptoms that responded promptly to appropriate antifungal therapy. The medical records of all patients fulfilling these criteria were reviewed for demographic, clinical and laboratory features at presentation, as well as therapeutic interventions and outcome. Results. Of the 266 patients 9 (3.4%) had 18 documented episodes of proven (n = 16) or probable (n = 2) esophageal candidiasis. A history of prior mucosal candidiasis was present in 94% of all episodes. The median CD4+ count at the time of diagnosis was 7/μl (range, 0 to 550), and the median viral load was 98 000 copies/ml (range, 22 916 to 1 278 933). Concurrent oropharyngeal candidiasis was the most common clinical presentation (72%) followed by fever (55%), odynophagia (50%) and nausea or vomiting (39%). Treatment consisted of antifungal triazoles (61%) or amphotericin B (39%). Clinical cure was achieved in 15 cases, including all patients receiving triazoles. Conclusion. Esophageal candidiasis persists in the subgroup of patients not responding to highly active antiretroviral therapy and in that setting may present without concomitant oropharyngeal candidiasis or typical clinical symptoms, thus underscoring the need for a high index of suspicion in children with very low CD4+ counts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Candida
  • Children
  • Esophagitis
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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