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Klatt Edward C.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: October 1988
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The clinical and autopsy findings documented in 216 patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are summarized. The respiratory system was most often involved with opportunistic infections and neoplasms diagnostic of AIDS, accounting for one-fourth of all such occurrences. Respiratory failure was the most frequent terminal event, leading to death in two-thirds of AIDS patients. The most common immediate cause of death was Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, seen in one-third of cases. Autopsy findings modified the clinical impression of the cause of death in 55% of cases. The most common diagnostic disease entity in all organ sites was cyto-megalovirus. The total clinical course of AIDS from diagnosis to death averaged 7 months, while the mean terminal hospital course was 20 days, and these courses did not vary substantially over the period of the study. Strategies for diagnosis, therapy, and management in patients with AIDS may be aided by these findings.

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