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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017, Article ID 1932647, 7 pages
Research Article

Investigation of Small Bowel Abnormalities in HIV-Infected Patients Using Capsule Endoscopy

1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan
2Department of Gastroenterology, NTT Medical Center Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
3Department of Hematology and Clinical Immunology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Atsushi Nakajima;

Received 28 July 2016; Revised 23 October 2016; Accepted 15 December 2016; Published 20 March 2017

Academic Editor: Antonios Athanasiou

Copyright © 2017 Eiji Sakai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


HIV infection is reportedly associated with an increased permeability of the intestinal epithelium and can cause HIV enteropathy, which occurs independently of opportunistic infections. However, the characteristics of small bowel abnormalities attributable to HIV infection are rarely investigated. In the present study, we assessed the intestinal mucosal changes found in HIV-infected patients and compared them with the mucosa of healthy control subjects using capsule endoscopy (CE). Three of the 27 HIV-infected patients harbored gastrointestinal opportunistic infections and were thus excluded from subsequent analyses. The endoscopic findings of CE in HIV-infected patients were significantly higher than those in control subjects (55% versus 10%, ); however, most lesions, such as red spots or tiny erosions, were unlikely to cause abdominal symptoms. After validating the efficacy of CE for the diagnosis of villous atrophy, we found that the prevalence of villous atrophy was 54% (13/24) among HIV-infected patients. Interestingly, villous atrophy persisted in patients receiving long-term antiretroviral therapy, though most of them exhibited reconstituted peripheral blood CD4+ T cells. Although we could not draw any conclusions regarding the development of small bowel abnormalities in HIV-infected patients, our results may provide some insight regarding the pathogenesis of HIV enteropathy.