Spleens collected from 85 consecutive autopsies of AIDS patients (mean age 37 years) were studied. Splenomegaly, observed in 59 cases (69.4%), does not statistically correlate with life style and blood transfusions. Eleven very large spleens (over 890 g) were associated with opportunistic infections (i.e.: mycobacteria, true fungi and rochalimaea). The histological pattern was characterized by marked lymphoid depletion of the white pulp and--in 67 cases (89.4%)--packing of the pulp cords by macrophages engulfed of brown pigment which was strongly positive to the Perls reaction for ferric iron. The contemporary presence of Perls positive and p24 immunoreactive material was diffusely observed in the cytoplasm of splenic macrophages, also positive to the alkaline tetrazolium reaction. The same was observed in the cytoplasm of monocytes/macrophages of lung and brain (in 5 out of 5 patients with splenomegaly > 600 g, randomly selected). We believe that our findings deal with the formation of a haemoglobin--p24 complex and are in keeping with recent data which suggest the formation of disulphide bonds between viral proteins and haemoglobin.
AIDS splenomegaly and related iron problems / Ansovini, R; Barbolini, G; Migaldi, Mario; Botticelli, L; De Rienzo, B.. - In: PATHOLOGICA. - ISSN 0031-2983. - STAMPA. - 90:(1998), pp. 133-139.