Schistocytosis and a thrombotic microangiopathy-like syndrome in hospitalized HIV-infected patients

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16 Scopus citations


Approximately 150 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with a thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA)-like syndrome have been reported in the literature since the early 1980s. The prevalence of a TMA-like syndrome in our hospitalized patients was determined to discern whether it is a more common occurrence than previously recognized and, if possible, to delineate risk factors for its occurrence. A total of 350 patients admitted consecutively to the Johns Hopkins Hospital HIV inpatient service were assessed from May 1, 1996 through February 1, 1997. These patients were evaluated for the presence of anemia, thrombocytopenia, fragmented erythrocytes on peripheral blood smear (schistocytosis), renal dysfunction, neurologic dysfunction, and fever. The association of a TMA-like syndrome with demographic and clinical factors was analyzed. Schistocytosis was present in 24% of the patients and a TMA-like syndrome (anemia, thrombocytopenia, schistocytosis + renal dysfunction or neurologic dysfunction, and fever) was present in 7% of the patients. The patients who had a TMA-like syndrome were more likely to have a low CD4 lymphocyte count or CD4 percentage, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stage C disease, and have bacterial sepsis. Age, race, HIV risk group, other diagnoses, and prescribed drugs were not associated. Patients were more likely to die if they had a TMA-like syndrome, independently of level of immunosuppression. Schistocytosis and a TMA-like syndrome are relatively common in hospitalized HIV-infected patients. This syndrome may contribute to mortality and morbidity, particularly in patients with more advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Schistocytosis
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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