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Volume 43, Number 4, August 2010

Non-Hodgkin\'s Lymphoma in Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Taiwan 

Chia-Jui Yang, Mao-Yuan Chen, Szu-Min Hsieh, Wang-Huei Sheng, Hsin-Yun Sun, Chien-Ching Hung, Shan-Chwen Chang

Received: April 30, 2009    Revised: July 6, 2009    Accepted: August 20, 2009   


Corresponding author:

Chien-Ching Hung, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan


Background and purpose: 

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is the second most common acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-defining malignancy with a high mortality rate. This study aimed to describe changes in the incidence and clinical characteristics of NHL in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in a referral hospital for HIV care.



The medical records of HIV-infected patients diagnosed with NHL between June 1994 and December 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Risk stratification of each patient was evaluated using the International Prognostic Index (IPI). Case patients were followed at least for 2 years to assess the 2-year survival rates.



During the 12-year period, 38 HIV-infected patients were diagnosed with NHL. Their median cluster of differentiation 4 count was 82 cells/μL (range, 2–477 cells/μL) at diagnosis. Before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in April 1997, 9/175 HIV-infected patients (5.1%) developed NHL compared with 29/1,386 patients (2.1%) in the HAART era (p < 0.05). Although the 2-year survival rate did not differ significantly between patients diagnosed in the pre-HAART era (22.2%) and those diagnosed in the HAART era (24.1%), patients receiving HAART for more than 6 months had better survival rates (p < 0.05). A low IPI score was a good prognostic factor predictive of a patient's outcome.



The incidence of NHL in HIV-infected patients declined significantly in the HAART era. Despite the introduction of HAART, the short-term survival of the patients with NHL remained poor. The IPI was a good predictor for survival.


Key words:

 AIDS  ,  HIV  ,  non-Hodgkin's lymphoma  ,  Taiwan