Cytologic detection of Trichomonas esophagitis in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Alain C. Borczuk, Robert Hagan, Fehmida Chipty, Lawrence J. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Trichomonads are pathogens of the female genital tract and colonizers of the oropharynx. Gastrointestinal and pulmonary diseases have been reported in association with Trichomonas species, but a direct pathogenic effect of this organism in these organ systems remains controversial. Esophageal disease due to trichomonads has not been previously reported. A 43-yr-old man with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with odynophagia and esophageal erosions was evaluated by endoscopy. Cytologic brushings from three of four sites in the esophagus were positive for trichomonads. Treatment with metronidazole resulted in clearance of the organism from the esophagus and improvement in clinical symptoms. We report esophageal trichomoniasis diagnosed on esophageal brush cytology in a man with AIDS. Clinical response was confirmed by cytologic studies and odynophagia improved with metronidazole treatment. Study of cytologic preparations was superior to biopsy for identification of this organism and was particularly useful in following the post-treatment course of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-316
Number of pages4
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998


  • AIDS
  • Cytology
  • Esophagus
  • Trichomonas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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