Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome – AIDS information for the USMLE

by / Monday, 19 July 2010 / Published in Internal Medicine


Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), is a paradoxical worsening of pre-existing infections in HIV+ individuals.

The syndrome usually occurs days-to-weeks after the initiation of treatment with highly-active anti-retroviral therapy, and is thought to arise secondary to the rapid improvement of the immune system.

The inflammatory reactions that occur at the sites of pre-existing infections are responsible for the worsening of the patient’s clinical presentation.

IRIS is typically self-limited and is best managed with continued HAART and antibiotic treatment of the underlying pathogen.

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