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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2016

Six-month survival of critically ill patients with HIV-related disease and tuberculosis: a retrospective study

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2016
Ana Carla Pecego, Rodrigo T. Amancio, Camila Ribeiro, Emersom C. Mesquita, Denise M. Medeiros, José Cerbino, Beatriz Grinsztejn, Fernando A. Bozza, Andre M. Japiassu



Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death from infectious diseases worldwide, mainly after the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics. Patient with HIV-related illness are more likely to present with severe TB due to immunosuppression. Very few studies have explored HIV/TB co-infection in critically ill patients. The goal of this study was to analyze factors associated with long-term mortality in critically ill patient with HIV-related disease coinfected with TB.


We conducted a retrospective study in an infectious disease reference center in Brazil that included all patient with HIV-related illness admitted to the ICU with laboratory-confirmed tuberculosis from March 2007 until June 2012. Clinical and laboratory variables were analyzed based on six-month survival.


Forty-four patients with HIV-related illness with a confirmed diagnosis of tuberculosis were analyzed. The six-month mortality was 52 % (23 patients). The main causes of admission were respiratory failure (41 %), severe sepsis/septic shock (32 %) and coma/torpor (14 %). The median time between HIV diagnosis and ICU admission was 5 (1–60) months, and 41 % of patients received their HIV infection diagnosis ≤ 30 days before admission. The median CD4 count was 72 (IQR: 23–136) cells/mm3. The clinical presentation was pulmonary tuberculosis in 22 patients (50 %) and disseminated TB in 20 patients (45.5 %). No aspect of TB diagnosis or treatment was different between survivors and nonsurvivors. Neurological dysfunction was more prevalent among nonsurvivors (43 % vs. 14 %, p = 0.04). The nadir CD4 cell count lower than 50 cells/mm3 was independently associated with Six-month mortality (hazard ratio 4.58 [1.64–12.74], p < 0.01), while HIV diagnosis less than three months after positive serology was protective (hazard ratio 0.27, CI 95 % [0.10–0.72], p = 0.01).


The Six-month mortality of HIV critically ill patients with TB coinfection is high and strongly associated with the nadir CD4 cell count less than 50 cels/mm3.
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