A distinct clinical syndrome of cholestasis and hepatitis occurred during early infancy in seven infants with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection. In five infants hepatitis was the first manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection. The median age of onset of hepatitis was 7 months (range, 5 to 10 months).The mean total bilirubin concentration at presentation was 7.4 mg/dl (range, 3.9 to 11 mg/dl), the mean aspartate amino-transferase was 1512 IU/liter (range, 782 to 2960 IU/liter) and the mean alanine amino-transferase 512 IU/liter (range, 92 to 1247 IU/liter). The absolute CD4 count at the time of onset of hepatitis ranged from 191 to 2298 cells/mm (mean, 766 cells/mm3. Six of the seven children died within 12 weeks of onset of hepatitis, three as a result of complications of Pneumocystis carinii: Pneumonia, and two died of complications secondary to cytomegalovirus. In only one infant was the cause of death the direct consequence of liver failure. The seventh infant died 17 months after the onset of hepatitis of dilated cardiomyopathy. No specific etiologic agent has been identified as the cause of cholestatic hepatitis in these infants. In situ hybridization studies to detect human immunodeficiency virus 1 messenger RNA was negative in the liver tissue obtained at biopsy and autopsy in five of the samples tested.
- Human immunodeficiency virus 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases