How common is chronic diarrhea in pediatric HIV infection, and which diagnostic tests are useful in the workup?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Chronic diarrhea develops in approximately 15% of children with HIV infection. Infectious agents may cause diarrhea. MAC and Cryptosporidium species are not uncommon causes of diarrhea in children with low CD4+ counts.

Stool examination and cultures for bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, and acid-fast organisms should be performed every day for at least 3 days, with special instructions for detecting Cryptosporidium,Isospora, and microsporidia organisms. Clostridium difficile tests should be requested if patients currently or recently received antimicrobial therapy.


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