Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 256083, 12 pages
Review Article

Review of HIV-Related Cytopathology

1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Pavilion, 5150 Centre Avenue, Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA
2Cytology Unit, Department of Anatomical Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg 2192, South Africa

Received 14 December 2010; Accepted 15 February 2011

Academic Editor: Antonino Carbone

Copyright © 2011 Tee U. Lang 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.


Exfoliative and aspiration cytologies play a major role in the management of patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Common cytology samples include cervicovaginal and anal Papanicolaou tests, fine needle aspirations, respiratory specimens, body fluids, Tzanck preparations, and touch preparations from brain specimens. While the cytopathologists need to be aware of specific infections and neoplasms likely to be encountered in this setting, they should be aware of the current shift in the pattern of human immunodeficiency virus-related diseases, as human immunodeficiency virus patients are living longer with highly active antiretroviral therapy and suffering fewer opportunistic infections with better antimicrobial prophylaxis. There is a rise in nonhuman immunodeficiency virus-defining cancers (e.g., anal cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma) and entities (e.g., gynecomastia) from drug-related side effects. Given that fine needle aspiration is a valuable, noninvasive, and cost-effective tool, it is frequently employed in the evaluation and diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus-related diseases. Anal Papanicolaou tests are also increasing as a result of enhanced screening of human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients for cancer. This paper covers the broad spectrum of disease entities likely to be encountered with human immunodeficiency virus-related cytopathology.