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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 5049-5051

Bilateral limb gangrene in an HIV patient due to vasculopathy: Managing the dual challenge of psychosocial issues and an uncommon medical condition

1 Department of Medicine, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Faculty of Medicine, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Ahmad Ozair
Faculty of Medicine, King George's Medical University, Chowk, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh - 226 003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_605_20

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Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been reported to experience a spectrum of homeostatic dysregulation and resulting manifestations in their vascular system. This may be due to either disruption in the coagulation-anticoagulation pathways or due to damage to vessels from either HIV or other opportunistic infections. However, gangrene in an HIV-infected patient is an uncommon phenomenon. We herein report a case of a 30-year-old female, who had been taking antiretrovirals irregularly for 10 years, developing bilateral limb gangrene during her hospitalization for cryptococcal meningitis. Unfortunately, her condition continued to deteriorate and her attendants took her from the hospital against medical advice, with her death soon after. We illustrate how several biopsychosocial factors came together here to result in poor outcomes. To note, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in HIV can rapidly lead to critical limb ischemia, resulting in limb gangrene. Aggravating risk factors for the same include smoking, poor glycemic control, and/or low CD4 T-cell count (<200 cells/mm3). General practitioners should be aware that HIV patients are far more prone to PAD than the normal population. Early recognition of at-risk patients, both medically and psychosocially, by family physicians is thus critical.

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