Upper Abdominal Ultra-Sonography Findings in HIV Patients at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Defense Forces Memorial Hospital

  • W Otieno
  • A Odhiambo
  • CK Onyambu


Background: Easy availability, accessibility and affordability make ultra-sonography an invaluable  diagnostic tool in clinical investigation of infectious and non-infectious complications of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Objective: To determine the pattern of upper abdominal abnormalities in HIV infected patients at ultra-sonography and correlate with clinical presentations.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital and the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
Subjects: HIV infected patients referred for upper abdominal sonography within the study duration of eight months.
Results: Two hundred and seventy three (273) patients were included in the study. Overall, upper abdominal pain accounted for 31.9%, pyrexia of unknown origin 30.40% and general abdominal pains  27.68% of clinical indications for sonography. The main clinical indication for liver sonography was  hepatitis (45.80%) and the kidney was renal failure (66.67%). The most common liver pathology was diffuse fat infiltration at 35.71%. The most common renal pathology was renal parenchymal disease (93%). Para-aortic lymphadenopathy was present in 42.90% and ascites 25.60% of patients. Conclusion: Renal parenchymal changes (type I and II), fatty liver, intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy and gallbladder sludge are common findings in HIV infected individuals despite paucity of clinical suspicion.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X