Prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in antiretroviral therapy naïve HIV-positive patients and the impact on treatment outcomes—a retrospective study from a large urban cohort in Johannesburg, South Africa

Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2041, South Africa.
Journal of NeuroVirology (Impact Factor: 2.6). 04/2012; 18(3):162-71. DOI: 10.1007/s13365-012-0093-2
Source: PubMed


Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is associated with advanced HIV disease and may be a complication of antiretroviral therapy (ART) or anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs, specifically isoniazid (INH). The effect of non-ART-drug-related PN on treatment outcomes is yet to be determined. We analysed prospectively collected cohort data for HIV-infected ART-naive adults initiating ART at the Themba Lethu Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa from June 2004 to June 2009. Patients who presented with signs and symptoms of numbness or dysesthesia prior to initiation of ART were defined as having PN. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the effect of PN alone (HIV-related PN) or PN with a history of INH use (TB-related PN) on mortality, lost to follow-up (LTFU), persistent and recurrent PN by 12 months of follow-up. Of the 9,399 patients initiating ART, 3.9 % had HIV-related PN while a further 1.8 % had TB-related PN. Patients with PN did not have a significantly higher risk of mortality compared to those without PN (hazard ratio (HR) 1.17 95 % CI 0.92-1.49). Patients with TB-related PN were less likely to be LTFU by 12 months (HR 0.65 95 % CI 0.44-0.97) compared to those without PN. Patients with HIV-related PN were at increased risk of persistent PN at 3 months post-ART initiation. Patients with HIV-related PN had a similar risk of recurrent PN compared to those with TB-related PN (HR 1.28 95 % CI 0.72-2.27). We demonstrate that patients with PN at initiation of ART present with advanced HIV disease. Completion of TB treatment may reduce the risk of persistent PN in patients with TB-related PN. Use of HIV drugs, even neurotoxic ones, may overall limit neuropathy.

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Available from: Denise Evans, Mar 09, 2015
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    • "The benefits of ART on HIV-related survival are well-described and studies have shown that ART improves body mass index – a proxy for nutritional status [12-14]. Once ART has been established and malnutrition treated, the nutritional quality of the diet is important because of the long term metabolic effects of ART (dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, obesity) [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Challenges to HIV care in resource limited settings (RLS) include malnutrition. Limited evidence supports the benefit of nutritional supplementation when starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in RLS. Methods: Randomized controlled pilot study. HIV-positive ART-naive adults with self-reported weight loss were randomized to receive ART plus FutureLife porridge nutritional supplement (NS) (388 kcal/day) or ART alone (Controls) for 6 months. Patients returned for monthly assessments and blood was drawn at enrolment and 6 months on ART. Differences in body composition, biochemical and laboratory parameters were estimated at 6 months on treatment. Results: Of the 36 randomized patients, 26 completed the 6 month follow-up (11 NS vs 15 Controls). At enrolment, groups were similar in terms of age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and bioelectrical impedance. NS patients had a lower median CD4 count (60 cells/mm3 [IQR 12-105 vs. 107 cells/mm3 [IQR 63-165]; p = 0.149) and hemoglobin (10.3 g/dL [IQR 9.0-11.3] vs. 13.1 g/dL [IQR 11.1-14.7]; p = 0.001). Conclusion: Preliminary results are encouraging and suggest that NS taken concurrently with ART can promote weight gain, improve immune response and improve physical activity in HIV-positive patients that present at ART initiation with weight loss.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Nutrition Journal
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    • "Furthermore, increased life expectancy in the HAART era predisposes to longer exposure to the virus and/or to dideoxynucleoside analogues [23]. Even though, there is considerable evidence on the risk of PN in the HAART era with use of neurotoxic agents [4,17,25], our study failed to show any such association especially with D4T. Another study [19] found that pre-existing PN before starting HAART reduced the risk that a patient would be placed on a D4T based regimen [19] thereby iterating the importance of pre-HAART screening for PN. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Peripheral neuropathy (PN) which is the most common neurological complication of HIV infection is under recognised and undertreated especially in resource limited settings. This ailment which has a negative impact on the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients exists in different clinical patterns of which HIV-associated Sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) is the most common affecting up to two thirds of patients with advanced disease in some settings. In Cameroon where HIV is a major public health problem, the burden of HIV-SN has not yet been well defined. Methods Using the Brief Peripheral Neuropathy Screening (BPNS) tool validated by the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) we carried out a cross sectional study to determine the prevalence of HIV-SN and its associated factors among HIV-1 patients at the Douala General Hospital between 1st July and 31st October 2011. HIV-SN was defined as the presence of neuropathic symptoms and at least an abnormal perception of vibrations of a 128Hz tuning fork on the great toe or abnormal ankle reflexes or both and expressed as a percentage of the study population. Results Out of 295 patients studied, 21% had HIV-SN. In HIV-SN patients the median duration of HIV infection was 79.8 months (IQR 46 – 107.5) and their median CD4 count 153cells/μL (IQR 80 – 280). Patient recall and clinical chart review showed that, 83.9% had neuropathic symptoms prior to HAART initiation and 16.1% after HAART initiation. Low CD4 count, history of alcohol intake and history of anti-tuberculosis treatment were strongly associated with HIV-SN (AOR 2.5, 2.8 and 2.9 respectively). Conclusions HIV-SN is common among patients with advanced HIV infection in Cameroon. This simple diagnostic tool (BPNS) should therefore be routinely used to detect those with HIV-SN or at risk so as to minimise the negative impact it has on their quality of life.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · AIDS Research and Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral neuropathies are the most common neurological manifestations occurring in HIV-infected individuals. Distal symmetrical sensory neuropathy is the most common form encountered today and is one of the few that are specific to HIV infection or its treatment. The wide variety of other neuropathies is akin to the neuropathies seen in the general population and should be managed accordingly. In the pre-ART era, neuropathies were categorized according to the CD4 count and HIV viral load. In the early stages of HIV infection when CD4 count is high, the inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies predominate and in the late stages with the decline of CD4 count opportunistic infection-related neuropathies prevail. That scenario has changed with the present almost universal use of ART (antiretroviral therapy). Hence, HIV-associated peripheral neuropathies are better classified according to their clinical presentations: distal symmetrical polyneuropathy, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), mononeuropathies, mononeuropathies multiplex and cranial neuropathies, autonomic neuropathy, lumbosacral polyradiculomyelopathy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-like motor neuropathy. Treated with ART, HIV-infected individuals are living longer and are at a higher risk of metabolic and age-related complications; moreover they are also prone to the potentially neurotoxic effects of ART. There are no epidemiological data regarding the incidence and prevalence of the peripheral neuropathies. In the pre-ART era, most data were from case reports, series of patients, and pooled autopsy data. At that time the histopathological evidence of neuropathies in autopsy series was almost 100%. In large prospective cohorts presently being evaluated, it has been found that 57% of HIV-infected individuals have distal symmetrical sensory neuropathy and 38% have neuropathic pain. It is now clear that distal symmetrical sensory neuropathy is caused predominantly by the ART's neurotoxic effect but may also be caused by the HIV itself. With a sizeable morbidity, the neuropathic pain caused by distal symmetrical sensory neuropathy is very difficult to manage; it is often necessary to change the ART regimen before deciding upon the putative role of HIV infection itself. If the change does not improve the pain, there are few options available; the most common drugs used for neuropathic pain are usually not effective. One is left with cannabis, which cannot be recommended as routine therapy, recombinant human nerve growth factor, which is unavailable, and topical capsaicin with its side-effects. Much has been done to and learned from HIV infection in humans; HIV-infected individuals, treated with ART, are now dying mostly from cardiovascular disease and non-AIDS-related cancers. It hence behooves us to find new approaches to mitigate the residual neurological morbidity that still impacts the quality of life of that population.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Handbook of Clinical Neurology
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