Unexplained persistent lymphadenopathy in homosexual men and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Ninety-three homosexual men with persistent lymphadenopathy were followed at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a mean period of 20.8 months. Histories and serologic evidence of a number of previous infections were common, but the lymphadenopathy was not due to recognizable infections or neoplastic disease. Leukopenia, lymphopenia, granulocytopenia, monocytopenia, decreased ratios of T-helper to T-suppressor cells, decreased natural killer cell activity and increased serum immunoglobulin concentrations were common. Lymph node biopsies showed reactive hyperplasia without any unique histopathologic features. Antibody to the human T-lymphotropic virus-III (HTLV-III or LAV), a newly described retrovirus believed to be the etiologic agent of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), was detected in 91.4%. Over a 3-year period, 11 cases of AIDS were recognized in these patients: Kaposi's sarcoma developed in 7 and opportunistic infections in 4. The lymphadenopathy resolved in six patients and the others remained unchanged. Although most of these patients are asymptomatic and remain well, the risk of AIDS in this group of men was higher than in other groups of homosexual men in New York.