The accurate diagnosis of oral lesions in human immunodeficiency virus infection: Impact on medical staging

Gustavo D. Cruz, Ira B. Lamster, Melissa D. Begg, Joan A. Phelan, Jack M. Gorman, Wafaa El-Sadr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To compare identification of oral candidiasis (OC) and oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) by medical examiners and oral/dental examiners and to assess the impact of these diagnoses on the medical staging of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Design: Retrospective analysis of data collected by medical and oral/dental examiners at the baseline examination of a prospective study. Setting: Homosexual men and men and women who were parenteral drug users residing in New York City, enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study. Subjects: A total of 245 individuals participated in this study. Main Outcome Measures: The diagnoses of OC and OHL as recorded in the medical and oral/dental charts were analyzed retrospectively for the same medical and oral/dental evaluation visits. The medical staging of HIV infection based on that evaluation was analyzed concomitantly. Results: Among homosexual men, the oral/dental examiners diagnosed OC in 11% of the individuals and the medical examiners in 4%. In the same cohort, OHL was diagnosed by the oral/dental examiners in 14% of the individuals and by the medical examiners in 8%. Among the parenteral drug users the oral/dental examiners diagnosed OC in 29% of the individuals while the medical examiners made this diagnosis in 11%. In the same cohort, OHL was diagnosed by the oral/dental examiners in 9% of the individuals and by the medical examiners in 2%. The OC and OHL diagnoses affected the medical staging of 12% of the HIV-positive homosexual men and of 22% of the HIV-positive parenteral drug users. Forty percent of the HIV-positive homosexual men and 79% of the HIV- positive parenteral drug users with stage-defining oral lesions were not properly identified by the medical examiners. Conclusions: Specific training and a comprehensive oral examination have a significant impact on the diagnoses of OC and OHL, and on the medical staging of individuals with HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume122
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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