Abnormal liver chemistries, unexplained fevers, or hepatomegaly prompted 36 liver biopsies on 34 patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The most common finding was the presence of hepatic granulomas, seen in 13 of the biopsy specimens. Eight of these granulomas were ill-defined, and 5 were more clearly associated with mycobacterial disease. Portal fibrosis and fatty infiltration were common, but a paucity of significant inflammatory activity was seen despite elevated aspartate aminotransferase levels, perhaps related to the underlying immunoincompetent status. Other noteworthy histopathologic findings included 1 patient each with peliosis hepatis and cryptococcal hepatitis. Electron-microscopic evidence of cytoplasmic tubular structures or viral particles were seen within the hepatocytes of 2 patients. It is concluded that a broad spectrum of hepatic histopathology may be seen in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and that liver biopsy may be diagnostically valuable in the clinical investigation of such patients.
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