• Evaluating CNS Lesions in HIV Patients: A Radiologic/Pathologic Review

      Hunter, Camille; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Gridley, Daniel G.; Van Tassel, Dane; Fairbourn, Phil (The University of Arizona., 2016-03-25)
      Background and Significance. HIV/AIDS is a commonly encountered disease process in many cities and medical centers throughout the world. Approximately 35 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide, many of whom develop pathology of the central nervous system (CNS). Many HIV/AIDS patients undergo substantial morbidity and mortality with the development of CNS abnormalities including toxoplasmosis encephalitis (TE), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), and other opportunistic infections. Especially in these immunocompromised patients, early accurate diagnosis can affect patient management, which is vital to patient survival. Research Question. We hypothesized that fellowship‐trained neuroradiologists are more accurate than general radiologists in the diagnosis of HIV related CNS lesions. Methods. Following institutional IRB approval, we retrospectively analyzed patients with known HIV infection who underwent radiologic imaging and subsequent biopsy of an identified neuropathologic lesion(s) at Maricopa Medical Center between January 2007 and January 2015. Diagnostic scan reports were analyzed to determine whether or not the correct diagnosis was provided in the impression, and rates of correct diagnosis were compared between fellowship trained neuroradiologists and a general radiologists. Results. Thirty‐three patients received neurologic imaging with MRI for a pathologically proven HIV/AIDS related illness with 78 total lesions identified. The correct diagnosis was mentioned in 79% (15/19) of cases read by a neuroradiologist, but only 43% (6/14) of cases read by a general radiologist. Overall, the correct diagnosis was mentioned in the initial impression in 21 of 33 (64%) cases. Chi‐squared analysis showed a statistically significant relationship in the number of mentioned correct diagnoses by neuroradiologists versus general radiologists (p=0.033). Conclusions. Our study suggests that the availability and utilization of specialty fellowship trained staff in radiology is an essential part of accurate early diagnosis. Taking an active role in the work up and diagnosis of specialized disease processes is essential for successful and comprehensive care, especially in our local community where HIV/AIDS support and treatment is on the cutting‐edge.