June 1987

Protein-Losing Enteropathy in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome due to Intestinal Kaposi's Sarcoma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(6):1174-1175. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370060170028

• Patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) often have hypoalbuminemia. We report the case of a patient with AIDS in whom marked hypoalbuminemia developed due to a protein-losing enteropathy caused by small intestinal Kaposi's sarcoma—an entity not previously reported in AIDS. The patient presented with ankle edema, pleural effusions, and a decrease in albumin from 3.0 g/dL (30 g/L) to 1.7 g/dL (17 g/L) over one month. Protein-losing enteropathy was confirmed by a marked elevation in fecal α-1 antitrypsin, and extensive evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract revealed the source to be small intestinal Kaposi's sarcoma. A protein-losing enteropathy should be considered when hypoalbuminemia is encountered in a patient with AIDS.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1174-1175)