Haematological changes in human immunodeficiency virus infection Part II.
Prior to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, one or two cases of adult Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) were seen annually at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the national referral medical center in Nairobi, Kenya. To investigate the influence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adult BL in Kenya, we conducted a national prevalence survey of all patients 16 years of age and older with BL. A systematic review of medical records of all patients diagnosed with BL between 1992 and 1996 was performed. The diagnosis of BL was based and confirmed on review of pathological material from time of original diagnosis. HIV serology was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Twenty-nine adult patients with BL were identified during the 5-year study period. Of these patients, 17 (59%) were males, 12 (41%) were females, and the median age was 26 years. Nineteen patients (66%) with BL were HIV-seropositive. The proportion of men was similar in HIV-seropositive and -seronegative patients (58% vs 60%). HIV-seropositive BL patients were significantly older than seronegatives (median 35 vs 19.5 years, p < 0.001). HIV-seropositive patients uniformly presented with constitutional or B symptoms and advanced BL accompanied by diffuse lymph node involvement, whereas the clinical presentation of HIV-seronegative patients during this time period was reminiscent of the "typical" endemic pattern of disease with complete sparing of peripheral lymph nodes. The overall survival of HIV-seropositive cases was significantly worse than that of the HIV-seronegative cases; median survival in the HIV-seropositive patients was 15 weeks. There is an approximate 3-fold increase in the incidence of adult BL during the time period of this study, which is attributable to the AIDS epidemic. In this setting, patients often present with disseminated disease, diffuse peripheral lymphadenopathy and fever, the latter two of which heretofore have been commonly associated with non-lymphoproliferative disorders such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases in Kenya. These observations warrant inclusion of AIDS-related BL in the differential diagnosis of the adult patient with unexplained fever and lymphadenopathy in Kenya. The corollary is that HIV infection is virtually excluded in an adult patient without peripheral lymphadenopathy and biopsy-proven BL. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.