ABSTRACT: Some studies have reported that the risk factors for neurosyphilis in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis co-infection, include CD4 cell counts ≤350cells/μL and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titer ≥1:32. However, neurosyphils can develop even in patients with CD4 cell counts >350cells/μL or RPR titer <1:32. In this study, we evaluated the outcome of syphilis to treatment in HIV-infected patients, and analysed the predictors of neurosyphilis in this population.
We retrospectively reviewed medical records of HIV-infected patients with syphilis who visited the China Medical University Hospital between January 2000 and December 2009. Neurosyphilis was defined by white blood cell (WBC) counts >20cells/μL in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample or elevated Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) titers of the CSF samples. Treatment failure was defined as less than 4-fold decrease in the serum RPR titer at or beyond 12 months post-treatment in case of early syphilis, and, at or beyond 24 months in case of late syphilis.
One hundred and twenty-one HIV-infected patients (average age, 32 years) with syphilis were included in this study. Of 63 patients who had follow-up of serologic responses, 30 (47.6%) failed to respond to treatment. CD4 cell counts ≤200cells/μL was the indicator for treatment failure (P=.029). Lumbar puncture was performed in 65 patients, and 14 patients were diagnosed with neurosyphilis. At the time of lumbar puncture, 31 and 19 of the 65 patients showed CD4 cell counts of >350cells/μL and RPR of <1:32, respectively. An HIV viral load (VL) ≥10000copies/mL was found to be associated with the development of neurosyphilis (P=.016).
In HIV-infected patients with syphilis, RPR titer should be evaluated more frequently when CD4 count ≤200cell/μL is associated with treatment failure. Lumbar puncture for the diagnosis of neurosyphilis should be considered in patients with HIV and syphilis co-infection, even in patients with CD4 cell counts >350cells/μL, and particularly when the HIV VL ≥10000copies/mL.
Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi 06/2012; 45(5):337-42. · 0.99 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Cryptococcus species are the most common causative agents of fungal meningitis. Different populations may show different clinical manifestations and outcomes. In this retrospective study, we investigated these differences in patients with and without HIV infection.
From 1995 to 2009, we collected data from HIV-infected or HIV-uninfected patients aged 18 years or over who had cryptococcal meningitis (CM) in a medical center in Taiwan. We reviewed and analyzed their demographic data, clinical manifestations, therapeutic strategies and outcomes.
Among the 72 patients with CM, 19 HIV-infected patients were predominantly younger males, and all of them had AIDS status when CM was diagnosed. In contrast, the 53 HIV-uninfected patients were mostly older males with underlying diseases. The time from initial symptoms to diagnosis was shorter in HIV-infected patients (median 10 vs. 18 days, p = 0.048). The HIV-infected patients presented with less pleocytosis (p = 0.003) and lower protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but a higher proportion had positive results for cryptococci in the CSF (90% vs. 60%, p = 0.02) and blood (53% vs. 21%, p = 0.009) cultures. Surgical drains and repeated lumbar punctures for the management of increased intracranial pressure were performed in 47% of the HIV-infected patients and 38% of the HIV-uninfected patients. A lower mortality rate was observed in the HIV-infected patients (p = 0.038). On multivariate analysis, initial CD4 count ≤20/mm(3) was an indicator of death or relapse in HIV-infected patients. In the HIV-uninfected group, the initial high cryptococcal antigen titer in the CSF (≥1:512) and hydrocephalus were related to unsatisfactory outcomes.
In addition to well-known differences, we found a lower mortality in HIV-infected patients than in HIV-uninfected patients. Cryptococci and inflammation in the central nervous system may play important roles in the pathogenesis of CM. Low intensity of inflammation and effective surgical CSF drains for increased intracranial pressure and cryptococci removal may contribute to lower mortality in HIV-infected patients.
Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi 05/2012; 45(4):296-304. · 0.99 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) has become an important issue in the management of patients who receive prostheses. We compared the clinical outcomes of PJIs caused by Gram-negative bacteria (GN PJIs) and Gram-positive bacteria (GP PJIs).
Patients with culture-proven PJIs admitted to China Medical University Hospital between March 2001 and March 2009 were included in this retrospective study.
Fifty-nine patients were diagnosed with PJI during the study period. Nineteen patients had GN PJIs (mean age: 68 years) and 40 had GP PJIs (mean age: 61 years). The most common comorbid condition was diabetes mellitus (23.7%) and the most common presentation was joint pain (79.7%). Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen, whereas Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common Gram-negative pathogen. The GN PJI group included more cases of hematogenous infection (36.8% vs. 20%; p < 0.001), showed a shorter interval between onset of infection symptoms and surgical intervention (median: 8 days vs. 21 days; p = 0.04), and required longer medical treatment (median: 259 days vs. 161 days; p = 0.04). In comparison with patients whose prostheses were eventually removed, patients whose prostheses were not removed had a shorter interval between onset of infection symptoms and surgical intervention (median: 6 days vs. 90 days; p = 0.004 and median: 6 days vs. 44 days; p = 0.04) in the GP PJI and GN PJI groups, respectively.
GN PJI was less common than GP PJI, but GN PJI was more complicated and required longer treatment. Prospective randomized clinical studies are needed to investigate whether prosthesis implantation should be reserved if the patient undergoes early surgical intervention for PJI.
Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi 05/2012; 45(5):363-9. · 0.99 Impact Factor