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Odynophagia from Aphthous Ulcers of the Pharynx and Esophagus in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Michael C. Bach, MD; August J. Valenti, MD; Douglas A. Howell, MD; and Thomas J. Smith, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Michael C. Bach, MD, 128 Chadwick Street, Portland, ME 04102.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Bach, Valenti, and Howell: Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases and Gastroenterology), Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME 04102.

Dr. Smith: Department of Medicine, Swedish Hospital Medical Center, Seattle, WA.

Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(4):338-339. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-109-4-338
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Nonspecific aphthous ulcers of the mouth are common in immunocompetent patients (1). The ulcers are self-limited, rarely progress to involve the hypopharynx or esophagus, and do not usually cause odynophagia. We describe the cases of three patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who developed severe odynophagia with progressive weight loss, resulting from multiple aphthous ulcers of the hypopharynx and esophagus. No infectious agents could be identified either by biopsy or from culture, and empiric antiviral and antifungal therapy were not effective. Corticosteroid therapy provided prompt and dramatic relief and healing in each patient.

Patient 1: Patient 1, an 18-year-old


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