The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Medical News

Screening Colonoscopies Urged for HIV-Infected Patients

September 17, 2009

A new study finds that HIV-positive patients have a higher prevalence of colonic neoplasms and should be offered screening colonoscopy.

"Although non-AIDS defining malignancies are rapidly increasing as HIV-infected subjects live longer, little is known about the results of screening for colonic neoplasms (adenomatous polyps and adenocarcinomas) in this population," the authors wrote.

In the current study, the researchers evaluated the presence of colonic neoplasms in two groups: 136 asymptomatic HIV-infected persons age 50 or older, and 272 asymptomatic uninfected control subjects matched for age, sex, and family history of colorectal cancer.

The results showed the prevalence of neoplastic lesions detected by colonoscopy was significantly higher among patients with HIV (62.5 percent) than among HIV-negative patients (41.2 percent). This association persisted after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity and baseline characteristics.

Compared to controls, HIV-positive patients were significantly less likely to have hyperplastic polyps and more likely to have adenomas 6-9 mm in diameter, and to have two or more adenomas detected.

Eleven patients had adenocarcinoma. Among these, patients with HIV were significantly younger (mean age 52.4) than controls (mean age 60.3). Patients with HIV were more likely to have advanced cancers (stage III or IV) than controls (60.0 percent vs. 16.7 percent, p=0.24). Multivariate analysis showed the odds of an HIV-positive patient having a neoplastic lesion were higher with a positive family history (odds ratio, 3.77) and lower among patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (OR, 0.13). Duration of HIV infection, viral load and CD4 lymphocyte count were not associated with the presence of neoplastic lesions.

"HIV-infected subjects have a higher prevalence of colonic neoplasms, and adenocarcinomas develop at a younger age and are more advanced than in uninfected subjects," the authors concluded. "Our findings suggest that screening colonoscopy should be offered to HIV-infected subjects, but the age of initiation and the optimal frequency of screening require further study."

The report, "Screening Colonoscopy for the Detection of Neoplastic Lesions in Asymptomatic HIV-Infected Subjects," was published in Gut (2009;58:1129-1134).

Back to other news for September 2009

Adapted from:
Reuters Health Medical News

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
General Information About Anal Cancer
More on Anal Cancer and HIV/AIDS


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: