A number of conditions particularly associated with HIV infection may cause oesophageal symptoms and ulceration. Diagnosis may often be made on clinical grounds though confirmation may be obtained from oesophagoscopy and biopsy.
The most common cause of oesophageal symptoms are due to candidosis and this alone is diagnostic of full-blown AIDS.
Other infections include Cytomegalovirus, causing discrete lower oesophageal ulceration and Herpes simplex, which produces an oesophagitis associated with fluid filled vesicles.
Lesions similar to apthous ulcers and hairy leukoplakia also occur. These resolve respectively with corticosteroid and acyclovir treatment.
Ref: Gazzard, B., Aids and the gastrointestinal tract. Medicine international February 1993, 21:2 pgs 44-46.
Last reviewed 01/2018