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Volume 46, Number 6, December 2013

Etiology of pulmonary complications of human immunodeficiency virus-1-infected patients in Taiwan in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy: A prospective observational study 


Kuan-Yeh Lee, Chao-Chi Ho, Dar-Der Ji, Chang-Min Lee, Mao-Song Tsai, Aristine C. Cheng, Pao-Yu Chen, Shin-Yen Tsai, Yu-Tzu Tseng, Hsin-Yun Sun, Yi-Chien Lee, Chien-Ching Hung, Shan-Chwen Chang


Received: April 24, 2012    Revised: July 6, 2012    Accepted: July 30, 2012   

 

Corresponding author:

Chien-Ching Hung, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
Corresponding Author InformationCorresponding author. Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan. 



 

Background and purpose: 

We aimed to investigate the etiology of pulmonary complications of human immunodeficiency virus-(HIV)-1-infected patients in Taiwan in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
 



 

Methods:

From July 2009 to March 2012, a prospective observational study was conducted to identify the etiology of pulmonary complications in HIV-1-infected patients who sought HIV care at a university hospital in Taiwan. A stepwise diagnostic approach was adopted, which included radiography, serology, microbiology, bronchoscopy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, and polymerase chain reaction assays for cytomegalovirus and Pneumocystis jirovecii. 



 

Results:

During the study period, a total of 203 episodes of pulmonary complications that occurred in 190 patients with a mean CD4 count of 123 × 106 cells/L were analyzed. Thirty-eight episodes (18.7%) occurred in patients with a CD4 count >200 × 106 cells/L, 71 (35.0%) between 50 and 200 × 106 cells/L, and 94 (46.3%) <50 × 106 cells/L. Pneumocystis pneumonia accounted for more than half of the complications in patients with a CD4 count <200 × 106 cells/L. In patients with a CD4 count >200 × 106 cells/L, the etiology of pulmonary complications was diverse, with bacterial infections (47.4%) being the most common, followed by tuberculosis (15.8%) and lung edema (13.2%). Pneumocystosis and cytomegalovirus pneumonitis were seen mostly or exclusively in patients with a CD4 count <200 × 106 cells/L and were the leading causes of interstitial pneumonitis. On the other hand, empyema, legionellosis, and lung edema were more commonly seen in patients with a CD4 count >200 × 106 cells/L. 



 

Conclusion:

The etiology of pulmonary complications in HIV-1-infected patients was diverse and varied with the categories of CD4 counts. Pneumocystosis remained the leading cause of pulmonary complications in patients with lower CD4 counts in Taiwan in the cART era.
 



 

Key words:

Bacterial pneumonia, Cytomegalovirus pneumonitis, Interstitial pneumonitis, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, Pulmonary complication, Tuberculosis