Indexed on: 16 May '08Published on: 16 May '08Published in: Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie
Overwhelming immune reaction resulting in granulomatous inflammation after infection with opportunistic pathogens has been termed immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). IRIS has mainly been described in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, IRIS is not restricted to HIV-patients and may occur in other infections and immunodeficiencies. In our clinic, we experienced a Whipple's disease patient with IRIS. IRIS occurs mainly after initiation of the highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Soon after HAART initiation, a marked inflammatory reaction can occur, triggered by restoration of pathogen-specific immunity. IRIS may be targeted by various infective antigens, dead or dying infective antigens, host antigens, tumor antigens and other antigens, giving rise to a heterogenous range of clinical manifestations. Treatment should be optimized for the associated condition and initiated immediately. Glucocorticoids should be used in patients who are severely affected by IRIS.