Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Anesthetic and Obstetric Considerations

Shmuel Evron, Marek Glezerman*, Ethan Harow, Oscar Sadan, Tiberiu Ezri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The pandemic of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is on the threshold of its third decade of existence. The World Health Organization-United Nations statistics show that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS pandemia is set to get much worse. Women of reproductive age are the fastest growing population with HIV. Common signs and symptoms have become more moderate or subclinical, and new clinical presentations have emerged. It is quite apparent that HIV-disease affects multiple organ systems. Advances have been made in elucidating the pathogenesis of HIV. In addition, the molecular technique of viral load determination and the CD + 4 T-lymphocyte count enable evaluation of the disease, its prognosis, and its response to therapy. There is limited specific information concerning the overall risk of anesthesia and surgery of HIV/AIDS patients. However, as far as can be determined, surgical interventions do not increase the postoperative risk for complications or death and should therefore not be withheld. There is also little evidence to suggest that HIV or antiretroviral drugs increase the rate of pregnancy complications or that pregnancy may alter the course of HIV infection. General anesthesia is considered safe, but drug interactions and their impact on various organ systems should be considered preoperatively. Regional anesthesia is often the technique of choice. Yet, one must take into consideration the presence of neuropathies, local infection, or blood clotting abnormalities. It should be emphasized that all practicing anesthesiologists should be familiar with the disease and should use prenatal anesthesia consultations and a team approach to assure optimal treatment for HIV patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


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