Original Research

Tonsil histopathology in HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected adults

Ridwaan Essa, Shivesh Maharaj, Kapila Hari, Shahpar Motakef
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 20, No 1 | a936 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v20i1.936 | © 2019 Shivesh Maharaj, Kaplia Hari, Ridwaan Essa, Shahpar Motakef | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 November 2018 | Published: 28 May 2019

About the author(s)

Ridwaan Essa, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Shivesh Maharaj, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Kapila Hari, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Shahpar Motakef, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The relationship between HIV and tonsil malignancy has not been fully investigated and established. Both of these diseases prominently feature in the Otorhinolaryngology clinics.

Objective: There is minimal data available on the histopathology of tonsillectomy specimens in the HIV-infected population. This retrospective review compared tonsil histopathology between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients.

Methods: Of the 319 adult patients undergoing tonsillectomy (01 July 2005 to 30 June 2015), HIV results were available for 160. The histological findings were compared in the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected subgroups. The effects of age, HIV status and CD4 count on the risk of malignancy were determined.

Results: There were 86 patients who were HIV-infected and 74 were uninfected. Reactive lymphoid hyperplasia was the most common diagnosis in both groups (77%). Malignancies were diagnosed in eight HIV-infected and six HIV-uninfected patients, an insignificant difference.

Conclusion: The majority of patients undergoing tonsillectomy had benign conditions. HIV status does not appear to be a specific risk factor for tonsil malignancies, but advanced age may be.


Keywords

HIV; Malignancy; Tonsil; Tonsillectomy; HIV-infected patients; HIV-uninfected patients

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