Massimo Arlotti

AUSL Romagna Infermi Hospital Rimini, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (20)174.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Identification of the determinants of access to investigational drugs is important to promote equity and scientific validity in clinical research. We aimed to analyze factors associated with the use of experimental antiretrovirals in Italy. We studied participants in the Italian Cohort of Antiretroviral-Naive Patients (ICoNA). All patients 18 years or older who had started cART (≥ 3 drugs including at least two NRTI) after their enrolment and during 1997-2007 were included in this analysis. We performed a random effect logistic regression analysis to take into account clustering observations within clinical units. The outcome variable was the use of an experimental antiretroviral, defined as an antiretroviral started before commercial availability, in any episode of therapy initiation/change. Use of an experimental antiretroviral obtained through a clinical trial or an expanded access program (EAP) was also analyzed separately. A total of 9,441 episodes of therapy initiation/change were analyzed in 3,752 patients. 392 episodes (360 patients) involved an experimental antiretroviral. In multivariable analysis, factors associated with the overall use of experimental antiretrovirals were: number of experienced drugs (≥ 8 drugs versus "naive": adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.71) or failed antiretrovirals(3-4 drugs and ≥ 5 drugs versus 0-2 drugs: AOR = 1.42 and 2.38 respectively); calendar year (AOR = 0.80 per year) and plasma HIV-RNA copies/ml at therapy change (≥ 4 log versus < 2 log: AOR = 1.55). The probability of taking an experimental antiretroviral through a trial was significantly lower for patients suffering from liver co-morbidity(AOR = 0.65) and for those who experienced 3-4 drugs (vs naive) (AOR = 0.55), while it increased for multi-treated patients(AOR = 2.60). The probability to start an experimental antiretroviral trough an EAP progressively increased with the increasing number of experienced and of failed drugs and also increased for patients with liver co-morbidity (AOR = 1.44; p = 0.053). and for male homosexuals (vs heterosexuals: AOR = 1.67). Variability of the random effect associated to clinical units was statistically significant (p < 0.001) although no association was found with specific characteristics of clinical unit examined. Among patients with HIV infection in Italy, access to experimental antiretrovirals seems to be influenced mainly by exhaustion of treatment options and not by socio-demographic factors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · BMC Health Services Research
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Bacterial brain abscesses remain a serious central nervous system problem despite advances in neurosurgical, neuroimaging, and microbiological techniques and the availability of new antibiotics. The successful treatment of brain abscesses requires surgery, appropriate antibiotic therapy, and eradication of the primary source; nevertheless many controversial issues on the management of this serious infection remain unresolved. CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES: The aim of this GISIG (Gruppo Italiano di Studio sulle Infezioni Gravi) working group - a panel of multidisciplinary experts - was to define recommendations for some controversial issues using an evidence-based and analytical approach. The controversial issues were: (1) Which patients with bacterial brain abscesses can be managed safely using medical treatment alone? (1a) What is the efficacy in terms of outcome, tolerability, cost/efficacy, and quality of life of the different antibiotic regimens used to treat bacterial cerebral abscesses? (1b) Which antibiotics have the best pharmacokinetics and/or tissue penetration of brain and/or brain abscess? 2) What is the best surgical approach in terms of outcome in managing bacterial brain abscesses? Results are presented and discussed in detail. METHODS: A systematic literature search using the MEDLINE database for the period 1988 to 2008 of randomized controlled trials and/or non-randomized studies was performed. A matrix was created to extract evidence from original studies using the CONSORT method to evaluate randomized clinical trials and the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for case-control studies, longitudinal cohorts, and retrospective studies. The GRADE method for grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendation was applied.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: There are few data concerning the risk of specific opportunistic diseases in patients with and without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We evaluated the correlation between the occurrence of different AIDS-defining illnesses (ADIs) and chronic HCV infection or HCV-related liver cirrhosis in a large Italian cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects. Subjects were stratified into 2 groups: patients without HCV coinfection and with persistently normal aminotransferase levels and patients with HCV coinfection. The patients with HCV coinfection were stratified according to the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. The incidences of new ADIs were calculated as the number of events per 1000 person-years of follow-up. The rates in the 2 groups were compared using a Poisson regression model adjusted for potential confounders. We observed a total of 496 ADIs among 5397 patients with 25,105 person-years of follow-up (50% tested positive for HCV). HCV coinfection was associated with increased risk of developing an ADI (adjusted relative rate [ARR], 2.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88-3.61), specifically bacterial infection (ARR, 3.15; 95% CI, 1.76-5.67), HIV-related disease (ARR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.03-6.97), and mycotic disease (ARR, 3.87; 95% CI, 2.28-6.59) but not non-Hodgkin lymphoma (ARR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.22-3.48). The rate of mycotic infection, bacterial infection, toxoplasmosis, and HIV-related ADI among patients with cirrhosis were significantly higher than that among HIV-monoinfected patients, and the risk was greater than that estimated for HCV antibody-positive patients without cirrhosis. HIV-related bacterial and mycotic infections are strongly associated with positive HCV serostatus and HCV-related cirrhosis. Clinicians should take into account these data when making decisions on initiation of antiretroviral therapy for HCV-coinfected individuals.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    A Boschi · C Tinelli · P Ortolani · M Arlotti
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies on CD4-guided therapy interruption (TI) showed that the durations of the first and second TIs were similar if antiretroviral therapy (ART) was resumed at a level of the CD4 cell count similar to or higher than the nadir CD4 T-cell count. Therefore, in a strategy of repeated CD4-guided TI, it is important to know which factors predict the time for the CD4 T-cell count to return to nadir (TRN). From a cohort of 125 patients who interrupted ART, 92 patients who reached a CD4 T-cell count similar to the nadir count were included in the study. The median TRN was 12.3 months. In the multivariate analysis, younger age (P=0.011), lower pre-ART HIV RNA (P=0.022) and female gender (P=0.045) were associated with a longer TRN. After TI there were 11 clinical events in the group of patients whose nadir CD4 count was >200 cells/microL. Most of these events occurred when the TI was prolonged beyond the TRN. The factors predicting the TRN were age, HIV RNA pre-ART and gender. Resumption of therapy at a CD4 cell count similar to the nadir CD4 count appears to protect against the development of clinical events. Given the observational nature of this study, no conclusions can be drawn regarding the possible application of TI in clinical practice.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2008 · HIV Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to compare the rate of viral rebound and therapy failure in patients receiving abacavir or efavirenz as the third drug (in addition to 2 non-abacavir nucleosides) in combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and to compare the rate of metabolic alteration associated with these regimens. We conducted a multicohort prospective observational study of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients who had attained viral loads < or = 80 copies/mL while receiving cART, without having previously received antiretrovirals. The rates of virological rebound, therapy failure, and lipid-level alteration during follow-up were calculated as the number of events divided by person-years of follow-up (PYFU). A multivariable analysis was performed using a Poisson regression model. We studied a total of 744 patients; the median age was 37 years, 27% of the patients were female, and 41% were heterosexual. There was a total of 854 PYFU spent receiving efavirenz and 285 spent receiving abacavir. The nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor pairs most frequently used were zidovudine/lamivudine (66% of PYFU), stavudine/lamivudine (17.6%), and stavudine/didanosine (5.4%). The adjusted relative rates of virological failure and therapy failure for abacavir, compared with those for efavirenz, were 2.17 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-4.18; P = .02) and 1.41 (95% CI, 1.01-2.01; P = .05), respectively. Patients with virological suppression while receiving regimens containing abacavir appear more likely to experience virological and therapy failure than those receiving efavirenz as their third drug. Although this is a selected group of adherent patients, bias cannot be ruled out, because this is a nonrandomized comparison.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2006 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the safety of treatment interruption (TI) guided by CD4+ count in HIV-infected patients followed-up prospectively. Patients on HAART with a CD4+ cell count >500 cells/mm3 discontinued therapy with instructions to start therapy again before their CD4+ count dropped below 200 cells/mm3. We report data on 112 HIV-infected patients. The median follow-up after starting the first TI was 34.7 months (IQR: 23.1-43.8). The median duration of the first TI was 12 months (IQR: 5.2-25). In the multivariate analysis the factor which most strongly correlated with the duration of the first TI was the CD4+ cell count at the end of the TI. Among the 34 patients who had completed a second TI, the duration of the two periods of interruption was similar if the treatment was recommenced at the end of the first TI at a CD4+ count higher than the nadir count. The strategy of TI is safe if the criteria for restarting therapy are applied correctly. The factor with the greatest influence on the duration of the first TI is the number of CD4+ cells at the end of the TI.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the risk of clinical progression (CP) according to the duration of time spent without complete viral load (VL) suppression compared with that associated with periods of stably suppressed viremia in HIV-infected people who started highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) when previously naïve to antiretrovirals. A cohort study of patients having started HAART after enrollment in the Italian Cohort of Antiretroviral-Naive Patients (ICoNA) and being followed for at least 6 months. Person-years spent in different categories according to the VL level and the change in VL from the most recent value before the initiation of HAART were calculated. A multivariable Poisson regression model, including potential confounders, was constructed. A total of 3023 patients were studied. The overall rate of CP was 13.4 per 1000 person-years. Evidence for a higher risk of CP was observed for people with a current VL >10,000 copies/mL. For each year longer spent on HAART with a VL >100,000 copies/mL, a 5-fold increased risk was observed (relative risk [RR] = 5.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.83 to 1.08; P = 0.0001). An increased risk of CP in patients with current suppression <1.5 log10 copies/mL (RR = 2.34, 95% CI: 1.16 to 4.74; P = 0.02) and in those with no suppression or a VL higher than their set point (RR = 2.39, 95% CI: 1.17 to 4.89; P = 0.02) was observed compared with those with suppression of >3 log10 copies/mL, although it was not significant. Longer duration on HAART with a VL suppressed below set point seemed to confer protection against CP. Virologic failure to antiretroviral drugs is common. The risk of CP may remain low despite a low but detectable level of HIV viremia.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
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    ABSTRACT: Protease inhibitor treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals has been linked to the development of lipodystrophy. The effects of atazanavir on body fat distribution and related metabolic parameters were examined in antiretroviral-naive patients. HIV-positive patients with CD4 cell counts > or = 100 cells/mm3 were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms: (1) atazanavir, 400 mg given once daily, plus efavirenz placebo; or (2) efavirenz, 600 mg given once daily, plus atazanavir placebo; each drug was administered with fixed-dose zidovudine (300 mg) and lamivudine (150 mg) given twice daily, and patients were treated for at least 48 weeks. Fat distribution measurements (visceral adipose tissue [VAT], subcutaneous adipose tissue [SAT], and total adipose tissue [TAT], as measured by computed tomography; and appendicular fat, truncal fat, and total fat levels, as measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), metabolic measurements (cholesterol and fasting triglyceride levels), and measurements of insulin resistance (fasting glucose and fasting insulin levels) were made at baseline and at week 48 of treatment for a subgroup of 111 atazanavir recipients and 100 efavirenz recipients. Atazanavir and efavirenz treatments resulted in minimal to modest increases in fat accumulation, as measured by VAT, SAT, TAT, appendicular fat, truncal fat, and total fat levels; results were comparable in both arms. In addition, atazanavir was associated with none of the metabolic abnormalities seen with many other protease inhibitors. Use of atazanavir for 48 weeks neither resulted in abnormal fat redistribution in antiretroviral-naive patients nor induced other metabolic disturbances commonly associated with HIV-related lipodystrophy. Longer-term assessments (e.g., at 96 weeks) will be important to confirm these findings.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2006 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Background. We obtained estimates of the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among patients receiving HAART and identified determinants of the incidence. Methods. We analyzed the incidence of TB during the first 3 years after initiation of HAART among 17,142 treatment-naive, AIDS- free persons starting HAART who were enrolled in 12 cohorts from Europe and North America. We used univariable and multivariable Poisson regression models to identify factors associated with the incidence. Results. During the first 3 years (36,906 person-years), 173 patients developed TB (incidence, 4.69 cases per 1000 person-years). In multivariable analysis, the incidence rate was lower for men who have sex with men, compared with injection drug users (relative rate, 2.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51-4.01), heterosexuals (relative rate, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.64-3.59), those with other suspected modes of transmission (relative rate, 1.66; 95% CI, 0.91-3.06), and those with a higher CD4(+) count at the time of HAART initiation (relative rate per log(2) cells/mL, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.84-0.91). During 28,846 person-years of follow-up after the first 6 months of HAART, 88 patients developed TB (incidence, 3.1 cases per 1000 person-years of follow-up). In multivariable analyses, a low baseline CD4(+) count (relative rate per log(2) cells/mL, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.96), 6-month CD4(+) count (relative rate per log(2) cells/mL, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99), and a 6-month HIV RNA level 1400 copies/mL (relative rate, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.33-3.67) were significantly associated with the risk of acquiring TB after 6 months of HAART. Conclusion. The level of immunodeficiency at which HAART is initiated and the response to HAART are important determinants of the risk of TB. However, this risk remains appreciable even among those with a good response to HAART, suggesting that other interventions may be needed to control the TB epidemic in the HIV-infected population.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2005 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the safety of treatment interruption guided by CD4+ cell count in HIV-infected patients followed up prospectively. Patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy with CD4+ cell counts > 500 x 10(6) cells/l discontinued therapy with instructions to start therapy again before their CD4+ count dropped below 200 x 10(6) cells/l. Any patients who resumed therapy would be eligible to interrupt treatment again once their CD4+ cell count increased above 500 x 10(6) cells/l. Data on 71 HIV infected patients is reported. Their median nadir CD4+ cell count before antiretroviral treatment was 352 x 10(6) cells/l [interquartile range (IQR), 294-445 x 10(6) cells/l]. The median CD4+ cell count at the time of first interruption was 790 x 10(6) cells/l (IQR, 657-1041 x 10(6) cells/l). The median follow-up after starting the first treatment interruption was 28.3 months (IQR, 21.4-37.0 months). During the follow-up 49 patients restarted therapy and 22 patients remain off therapy; 24 patients have interrupted therapy twice, nine patients have interrupted therapy three times and six patients four times. No AIDS-defining illnesses occurred during the follow-up. The median duration of the first interruption was 15 months (IQR, 6-26 months). The overall reduction of time on therapy was 71.1%. The duration of the first interruption and the reduction of time on therapy were related to nadir CD4+ cell count. The patients who resumed HAART rapidly regained CD4+ cells and achieved viral suppression. If carefully monitored, treatment interruptions guided by CD4+ cell count in patients with an initially high CD4+ cell counts are clinically safe, decrease exposure to the drugs and do not reduce the efficacy of therapy when this is re-started.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2005 · AIDS
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    ABSTRACT: Background: It remains controversial whether exposure to combination antiretroviral treatment increases the risk of myocardial infarction. Methods: In this prospective observational study, we enrolled 23,468 patients from 11 previously established cohorts from December 1999 to April 2001 and collected follow-up data until February 2002. Data were collected on infection with the human immunodeficiency virus and on risk factors for and the incidence of myocardial infarction. Relative rates were calculated with Poisson regression models. Combination antiretroviral therapy was defined as any combination regimen of antiretroviral drugs that included a protease inhibitor or a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Results: Over a period of 36,199 person-years, 126 patients had a myocardial infarction. The incidence of myocardial infarction increased with longer exposure to combination antiretroviral therapy (adjusted relative rate per year of exposure, 1.26 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.12 to 1.41]; P<0.001). Other factors significantly associated with myocardial infarction were older age, current or former smoking, previous cardiovascular disease, and male sex, but not a family history of coronary heart disease. A higher total serum cholesterol level, a higher triglyceride level, and the presence of diabetes were also associated with an increased incidence of myocardial infarction. Conclusions: Combination antiretroviral therapy was independently associated with a 26 percent relative increase in the rate of myocardial infarction per year of exposure during the first four to six years of use. However, the absolute risk of myocardial infarction was low and must be balanced against the marked benefits from antiretroviral treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2003 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives of the study were to assess the differences between sexes in the likelihood of starting antiretroviral therapy (ART), in rates of sustained discontinuation from highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and in clinical progression. In a multicenter cohort study (I.Co.N.A. Study), 2323 men and 1335 women previously naive to antiretrovirals were enrolled. As of September 2002, 807 women and 1480 men started ART. The median time to starting ART was 28 weeks for women and 17 weeks for men (P = 0.0003 by log-rank test). This difference was no longer significant after adjusting for either HIV RNA (P = 0.21) or CD4 count (P = 0.28) at enrollment. Women tend to start HAART less frequently than mono/dual ART after adjusting for potential confounders (odds ratio = 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60-1.01; P = 0.06). Women who started HAART were 1.4 times more likely than men (95% CI: 1.00-1.99; P = 0.05) to interrupt at least 1 drug because of toxicity. Twenty-one percent of women and 19% of men interrupted HAART altogether for more than 3 months (P = 0.3). Clinical progression was observed in 53 women (22.6%) and 137 men (23.4%; P = 0.56). Risk of developing a clinical event was found to be no different between women and men (relative hazard = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.56-1.26; P = 0.40).
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
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    ABSTRACT: According to recent studies, women have lower plasma HIV RNA concentrations than men. However, these studies did not take into account the duration of HIV infection. To analyze the relationship between viral load and gender among individuals with known date of seroconversion. Sixty infectious disease clinics in Italy. Cross-sectional analysis of data collected at enrollment in a cohort study. Injecting drug users and heterosexual contacts naive to antiretroviral therapy at enrollment (245 men; 170 women). Plasma HIV RNA concentrations, measured using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or signal amplification b-DNA assays before antiretroviral therapy. Plasma HIV RNA concentrations were similar by age and exposure category (p =.80 and p =.39, respectively). Median viral load among women was roughly half that of men (p =.002). The association between viral load and gender remained significant after fitting a two-way analysis of variance (p =.03) and after adjusting for CD4 count, modality of HIV transmission, and age at enrollment in a regression model. Viral load was 0.27 log10 copies/ml (95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.40; p =.01) lower in women (i.e., 50% lower in the raw scale). Plasma HIV RNA concentrations were found to be lower among women, even when considering the duration of HIV infection. Compared with men, it is possible women should be given highly aggressive antiretroviral therapy at lower HIV-RNA concentrations.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2000 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
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    ABSTRACT: Context: According to recent studies, women have lower plasma HIV RNA concentrations than men. However, these studies did not take into account the duration of HIV infection. Objectives: To analyze the relationship between viral load and gender among individuals with known date of seroconversion. Setting: Sixty infectious disease clinics in Italy. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of data collected at enrollment in a cohort study. Participants: Injecting drug users and heterosexual contacts naive to antiretroviral therapy at enrollment (245 men; 170 women). Main Outcome Measures: Plasma HIV RNA concentrations, measured using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or signal amplification b-DNA assays before antiretroviral therapy. Results: Plasma HIV RNA concentrations were similar by age and exposure category (p = .80 and p = .39, respectively). Median viral load among women was roughly half that of men (p = .002). The association between viral load and gender remained significant after fitting a two-way analysis of variance (p = .03) and after adjusting for CD4 count, modality of HIV transmission, and age at enrollment in a regression model. Viral load was 0.27 log10 copies/ml (95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.40; p = .01) lower in women (i.e., 50% lower in the raw scale). Conclusions: Plasma HIV RNA concentrations were found to be lower among women, even when considering the duration of HIV infection. Compared with men, it is possible women should be given highly aggressive antiretroviral therapy at lower HIV-RNA concentrations. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2000 · JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study, a multicentre trial of didanosine (ddI) compassionate use, was to identify factors associated with a better outcome in patients given ddI monotherapy. Enrolled were 1047 HIV-positive patients intolerant of and/or unresponsive to zidovudine (ZDV) therapy, with CD4+ cell counts of < 200/microliter or AIDS. Didanosine was given at a dose of 250 mg b.i.d. (patients > or = 60 kg) or 167 mg b.i.d. (patients < 60 kg). Clinical examinations and laboratory tests were performed every two months. Endpoints included death, the occurrence of a new AIDS-defining disease, or permanent discontinuation of ddI for a severe adverse event. At entry, the median CD41 cell count was 47/microliter and the median duration of prior ZDV treatment 19 months; 446 patients (43%) were classified as having AIDS. Severe toxicity occurred in 143 subjects (14%); the frequency of pancreatitis was very low (0.2%). The benefit in terms of CD4+ cell counts was greater for patients whose counts exceeded 100/microliter at entry and remained at this level until month 12 in those patients still receiving treatment. Death and/or new AIDS-defining events were observed in 374 cases (36%) over a median follow-up of eight months. AIDS dementia was observed in 11 patients (1%). Multivariate analysis of survival without disease progression showed that the factors associated with a worse outcome include the severity of immunodepression, a diagnosis of AIDS at entry, and a history of both intolerance of and clinical resistance to ZDV. Surprisingly, the patients who had received previous prolonged treatment with ZDV had a better outcome. In conclusion, severely immunodepressed patients previously administered long-term monotherapy may receive a short-term benefit from being switched to another antiretroviral drug.
    No preview · Article · Mar 1997 · European Journal of Clinical Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Although the association among bacterial pneumonia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and injection-drug use seems to have been well established, accurate estimates of the risk of community-acquired pneumonia among HIV-positive and HIV-negative injection-drug users (IDUs) are still needed. To estimate the incidence of pneumonia in a community of former IDUs, we followed 4,236 persons between 1991 and 1994; 1,114 (26.3%) were HIV-positive and 3,122 (73.7%) were HIV-negative. All patients were evaluated for pneumonia by standard criteria, a serum sample was obtained from each participant at least once a year, and laboratory values were monitored. Overall, 149 episodes of pneumonia occurred among HIV-positive patients and 61 among HIV-negative patients; incidence rates were 90.5 and 14.2 (per 1,000 person-years), respectively. The most common etiologic agents were Streptococcus pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. Among the HIV-positive former IDUs, there was a 1.37-fold increase in the relative risk of pneumonia for every decrease of 100/mm3 in the CD4 cell count (95% confidence interval, 1.16–1.61). The incidence of community-acquired pneumonia was markedly higher among HIV-positive participants than among HIV-negative ones, a finding similar to that concerning the general population.
    Preview · Article · Aug 1996 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Rhodococcus equi causes a rare infection in immunocompromised hosts. We describe 24 cases of infection in patients with AIDS-related complex (ARC)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Pneumonia was always the first manifestation of R. equi infection, but extrapulmonary involvement was also observed. The main sources of bacteria were sputum, bronchial washings and blood. The strains isolated were mainly susceptible to erythromycin, vancomycin, teicoplanin, rifampicin, imipenem and aminoglycosides. Initial treatment should involve an intravenously administered antibiotic combination therapy including imipenem or vancomycin or teicoplanin, followed by orally administered maintenance combination therapy. Drug combinations should be investigated for serum bactericidal activity in vitro. Surgery does not increase survival time and should only be performed in cases that do not respond to antibiotic treatment. Presumptive risks of infection (contact with horses or farm dust, or cohabiting with people affected by R. equi infection) were present in more than 50% of patients. This finding, and the frequency of bacteria in the sputum, are not sufficient proof of transmission between humans, but do suggest the need for respiratory isolation of patients affected by R. equi pneumonia.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1996 · Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Objective.-To determine the association between elapsed time since starting zidovudine and survival in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Design.-Inception cohort and observational study of patients treated and not treated with zidovudine. Setting.-Fifty-one centers in 17 European countries. Patients.-A total of 4484 patients diagnosed as having AIDS from 1979 to 1989 who survived their initial AIDS-defining event and who had not started zidovudine before AIDS diagnosis. Main Outcome Measures.-Use of zidovudine and mortality. Results.-Among patients who did not receive zidovudine, the death rate was approximately constant for the first 5 years after AIDS diagnosis. For patients treated with zidovudine, the death rate within the first year since starting zidovudine was markedly lower than for untreated patients who had developed AIDS at the same time (relative rate, 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.51). For longer times since starting zidovudine, the association with reduced mortality rate was diminished, and for patients surviving more than 2 years since starting zidovudine, the death rate was greater than for untreated patients who had developed AIDS at the same time (relative rate, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.58). Adjustment for other prognostic factors failed to substantially affect this observation. Conclusions.-When initiated after the time of AIDS diagnosis, zidovudine was associated with improved prognosis but for no more than 2 years after starting therapy.
    No preview · Article · Apr 1994 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
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    ABSTRACT: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is certainly the most frequent opportunistic pulmonary infection in AIDS patients. Besides the conventional radiographic features demonstrating bilateral infiltrates and airspace consolidation, atypical radiologic patterns are reported in the literature, which are characterized by spontaneous pneumothorax and by the presence of bullae, cysts and areas of pulmonary cavitation. Forty consecutive PCP patients were investigated, ten of them presenting with atypical radiographic findings: 1 case of spontaneous pneumothorax with no evidence of bullae and 9 cases of bullous lung disease--5 of them complicated by spontaneous pneumothorax. Several pathogenetic hypotheses were considered; lesions evolution and the differential radiologic diagnosis were discussed. As for diagnosis, the value of chest CT scans is emphasized, together with that of HRCT which is extremely valuable to localize, characterize and evaluate bullous lesions and associated parenchymal signs.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1994 · La radiologia medica
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    ABSTRACT: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is one of the most frequent opportunistic infections in patients with AIDS. In addition to the classic manifestations of this disease, several typical features are being recognized with increasing frequency. The Authors report 5 clinical cases (13,5%) with atypical radiographic features from a case-report of 37 cases of PCP: 1 case of spontaneous pneumothorax and 4 cases of bullous pulmonary disease; 2 of these 4 cases developed bilateral pneumothoraces. The development of bullous pulmonary damage was observed during the first episode of PCP in 2 patients, and during a relapse of PCP in the other 2 patients. These 4 patients received prophylactic aerosolized pentamidine. The case of spontaneous pneumothorax not associated to bullous pulmonary disease was observed during the first episode of PCP in a patient who did not receive aerosol pentamidine prophylaxis.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1992