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Unusual aetiology of respiratory compromise in a patient with AIDS
  1. Naji Maaliki1,
  2. Aleem Azal Ali1,
  3. Carmen Liliana Isache2 and
  4. Win Aung1
  1. 1Internal Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  2. 2Infectious Diseases, University of Florida Health at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Naji Maaliki; naji.maaliki{at}


A 36-year-old African American man with no medical history presented with a recent history of cough and dyspnoea. Initial chest imaging revealed diffuse bilateral lung infiltrates. A subsequent HIV test resulted positive, and he was presumptively diagnosed with AIDS, later confirmed by a CD4 of 88 cells/mm3. Empiric therapy with trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole was initiated for presumed Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. The patient’s clinical status deteriorated despite treatment. Further workup with chest CT, bronchoscopy and skin biopsy led to a diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma with pulmonary involvement. Highly active antiretroviral therapy therapy was initiated, along with plans to start chemotherapy. However, the patient’s clinical status rapidly declined, leading to respiratory failure and eventual death. This case underlines the importance of maintaining a broad differential in immunocompromised patients presenting with respiratory symptoms.

  • malignant disease and immunosuppression
  • HIV / AIDS
  • pneumonia (infectious disease)
  • adult intensive care
  • pneumonia (respiratory medicine)

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the conception, design, acquisition of data, analysis, interpretation of data, as well as drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content. All authors have agreed on the final approval of the version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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