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1.  Should highly active antiretroviral therapy be prescribed in critically ill HIV-infected patients during the ICU stay? A retrospective cohort study 
Background
The impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV-infected patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) remains controversial. We evaluate impact of HAART prescription in HIV-infected patients admitted to the ICU of Tourcoing Hospital from January 2000 to December 2009.
Results
There were 91 admissions concerning 85 HIV-infected patients. Reasons for ICU admission were an AIDS-related diagnosis in 46 cases (51%). Fifty two patients (57%) were on HAART at the time of ICU admission, leading to 21 immunovirologic successes (23%). During the ICU stay, HAART was continued in 29 patients (32%), and started in 3 patients (3%). Only one patient experienced an adverse event related to HAART. Mortality rate in ICU and 6 months after ICU admission were respectively 19% and 27%. Kaplan-Meier estimates of the cumulative unajusted survival probability over 6 months were higher in patients treated with HAART during the ICU stay (Log rank: p = 0.04). No benefit of HAART in ICU was seen in the adjusted survival proportion at 6 months or during ICU stay. Prescription of HAART during ICU was associated with a trend to lower incidence of new AIDS-related events at 6 months (respectively 17% and 34% with and without HAART, p = 0.07), and with higher incidence of antiretroviral resistance after ICU stay (respectively 25% and 7% with and without HAART, p = 0.02).
Conclusions
Our results suggest a lower death rate over 6 months in critically ill HIV-infected patients taking HAART during ICU stay. The optimal time to prescribe HAART in critically ill patients needs to be better defined.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-9-27
PMCID: PMC3544704  PMID: 23020962
HIV; Intensive care; HAART
2.  Benefit of antiretroviral therapy on survival of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients admitted to an intensive care unit 
Critical care medicine  2009;37(5):1605-1611.
Objective
To evaluate the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the prognostic factors for in-intensive care unit (ICU) and 6-month mortality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients.
Design
A retrospective cohort study was conducted in patients admitted to the ICU from 1996 through 2006. The follow-up period extended for 6 months after ICU admission.
Setting
The ICU of a tertiary-care teaching hospital at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
Participants
A total of 278 HIV-infected patients admitted to the ICU were selected. We excluded ICU readmissions (37), ICU admissions who stayed less than 24 hours (44), and patients with unavailable medical charts (36).
Outcome Measure
In-ICU and 6-month mortality.
Main Results
Multivariate logistic regression analysis and Cox proportional hazards models demonstrated that the variables associated with in-ICU and 6-month mortality were sepsis as the cause of admission (odds ratio [OR] = 3.16 [95% confidence interval [CI] 1.65– 6.06]); hazards ratio [HR] = 1.37 [95% CI 1.01–1.88]), an Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score > 19 [OR = 2.81 (95% CI 1.57–5.04); HR = 2.18 (95% CI 1.62–2.94)], mechanical ventilation during the first 24 hours [OR = 3.92 (95% CI 2.20–6.96); HR = 2.25 (95% CI 1.65–3.07)], and year of ICU admission [OR = 0.90 (95% CI 0.81– 0.99); HR = 0.92 [95% CI 0.87– 0.97)]. CD4 T-cell count <50 cells/mm3 was only associated with ICU mortality [OR = 2.10 (95% CI 1.17– 3.76)]. The use of ART in the ICU was negatively predictive of 6-month mortality in the Cox model [HR = 0.50 (95% CI 0.35– 0.71)], especially if this therapy was introduced during the first 4 days of admission to the ICU [HR = 0.58 (95% CI 0.41– 0.83)]. Regarding HIV-infected patients admitted to ICU without using ART, those who have started this treatment during ICU stay presented a better prognosis when time and potential confounding factors were adjusted for [HR 0.55 (95% CI 0.31– 0.98)].
Conclusions
The ICU outcome of HIV-infected patients seems to be dependent not only on acute illness severity, but also on the administration of antiretroviral treatment. (Crit Care Med 2009; 37: 000–000)
doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e31819da8c7
PMCID: PMC4143892  PMID: 19325488
intensive care; human immunodeficiency virus; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; antiretroviral therapy; prognostic factors; critical care; mortality
3.  Clinical review: Respiratory failure in HIV-infected patients - a changing picture 
Critical Care  2013;17(3):228.
Respiratory failure in HIV-infected patients is a relatively common presentation to ICU. The debate on ICU treatment of HIV-infected patients goes on despite an overall decline in mortality amongst these patients since the AIDS epidemic. Many intensive care physicians feel that ICU treatment of critically ill HIV patients is likely to be futile. This is mainly due to the unfavourable outcome of HIV patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia who need mechanical ventilation. However, the changing spectrum of respiratory illness in HIV-infected patients and improved outcome from critical illness remain under-recognised. Also, the awareness of certain factors that can affect their outcome remains low. As there are important ethical and practical implications for intensive care clinicians while making decisions to provide ICU support to HIV-infected patients, a review of literature was undertaken. It is notable that the respiratory illnesses that are not directly related to underlying HIV disease are now commonly encountered in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. The overall incidence of P. jirovecii as a cause of respiratory failure has declined since the AIDS epidemic and sepsis including bacterial pneumonia has emerged as a frequent cause of hospital and ICU admission amongst HIV patients. The improved overall outcome of HIV patients needing ICU admission is related to advancement in general ICU care, including adoption of improved ventilation strategies. An awareness of respiratory illnesses in HIV-infected patients along with an appropriate diagnostic and treatment strategy may obviate the need for invasive ventilation and improve outcome further. HIV-infected patients presenting with respiratory failure will benefit from early admission to critical care for treatment and support. There is evidence to suggest that continuing or starting HAART in critically ill HIV patients is beneficial and hence should be considered after multidisciplinary discussion. As a very high percentage (up to 40%) of HIV patients are not known to be HIV infected at the time of ICU admission, the clinicians should keep a low threshold for requesting HIV testing for patients with recurrent pneumonia.
doi:10.1186/cc12552
PMCID: PMC3706935  PMID: 23806117
4.  Admissions to intensive care unit of HIV-infected patients in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy: etiology and prognostic factors 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R202.
Introduction
Although access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has prolonged survival and improved life quality, HIV-infected patients with severe immunosuppression or comorbidities may develop complications that require critical care support in intensive care units (ICU). This study aimed to describe the etiology and analyze the prognostic factors of HIV-infected Taiwanese patients in the HAART era.
Methods
Medical records of all HIV-infected adults who were admitted to ICU at a university hospital in Taiwan from 2001 to 2010 were reviewed to record information on patient demographics, receipt of HAART, and reason for ICU admission. Factors associated with hospital mortality were analyzed.
Results
During the 10-year study period, there were 145 ICU admissions for 135 patients, with respiratory failure being the most common cause (44.4%), followed by sepsis (33.3%) and neurological disease (11.9%). Receipt of HAART was not associated with survival. However, CD4 count was independently predictive of hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], per-10 cells/mm3 decrease, 1.036; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.003 to 1.069). Admission diagnosis of sepsis was independently associated with hospital mortality (AOR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.11 to 7.62). A hospital-to-ICU interval of more than 24 hours and serum albumin level (per 1-g/dl decrease) were associated with increased hospital mortality, but did not reach statistical significance in multivariable analysis.
Conclusions
Respiratory failure was the leading cause of ICU admissions among HIV-infected patients in Taiwan. Outcome during the ICU stay was associated with CD4 count and the diagnosis of sepsis, but was not associated with HAART in this study.
doi:10.1186/cc10419
PMCID: PMC3387644  PMID: 21871086
5.  Survival of HIV‐infected patients in the intensive care unit in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy 
Thorax  2007;62(11):964-968.
Background
Several studies have described improved outcomes for HIV‐infected patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). A study was undertaken to examine the outcome from the ICU for HIV‐infected patients and to identify prognostic factors.
Methods
A retrospective study of HIV‐infected adults admitted to a university affiliated hospital ICU between January 1999 and December 2005 was performed. Information was collected on patient demographics, receipt of HAART (no patient began HAART on the ICU), reason for ICU admission and hospital course. Outcomes were survival to ICU discharge and to hospital discharge.
Results
102 patients had 113 admissions to the ICU; HIV infection was newly diagnosed in 31 patients. Survival (first episode ICU discharge and hospital discharge) was 77% and 68%, respectively, compared with 74% and 65% for general medical patients. ICU and hospital survival was 78% and 67% in those receiving HAART, and 75% and 66% in those who were not. In univariate analysis, factors associated with survival were: haemoglobin (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.51, for an increase of 1 g/dl), CD4 count (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 0.98 to 2.58, for a 10‐fold increase in cells/µl), APACHE II score (OR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.90, for a 10 unit increase) and mechanical ventilation (OR = 0.29, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.83).
Conclusions
The outcome for HIV‐infected patients admitted to the ICU was good and was comparable to that in general medical patients. More than a quarter of patients had newly diagnosed HIV infection. Patients receiving HAART did not have a better outcome.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.072256
PMCID: PMC2117109  PMID: 17517829
6.  Etiology and Outcome of Patients with HIV Infection and Respiratory Failure Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit 
Background. Although access to HAART has prolonged survival and improved quality of life, HIV-infected patients with severe immunosuppression or comorbidities may develop complications that require critical care support. Our objective is to evaluate the etiology of respiratory failure in patients with HIV infection admitted to the ICU, its relationship with the T-lymphocytes cell count as well as the use of HAART, and its impact on outcome. Methods. A single-center, prospective, and observational study among all patients with HIV-infection and respiratory failure admitted to the ICU from December 1, 2011, to February 28, 2013, was conducted. Results. A total of 42 patients were admitted during the study period. Their median CD4 cell count was 123 cells/μL (mean 205.7, range 2.0–694.0), with a median HIV viral load of 203.5 copies/mL (mean 58,676, range <20–367,649). At the time of admission, 23 patients (54.8%) were receiving HAART. Use of antiretroviral therapy at ICU admission was not associated with survival, but it was associated with higher CD4 cell counts and lower HIV viral loads. Twenty-five patients (59.5%) had respiratory failure secondary to non-HIV-related diseases. Mechanical ventilation was required in 36 patients (85.1%). Thirteen patients (31.0%) died. Conclusions. Noninfectious etiologies of respiratory failure account for majority of HIV-infected patients admitted to ICU. Increased mortality was observed among patients with sepsis as etiology of respiratory failure (HIV related and non-AIDS related), in those receiving mechanical ventilation, and in patients with decreased CD4 cell count. Survival was not associated with the use of HAART. Complementary studies are warranted to address the impact of HAART on outcomes of HIV-infected patients with respiratory failure admitted to ICU.
doi:10.1155/2013/732421
PMCID: PMC3771454  PMID: 24065988
7.  Circulating Mitochondrial DNA in Patients in the ICU as a Marker of Mortality: Derivation and Validation 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(12):e1001577.
In this paper, Choi and colleagues analyzed levels of mitochondrial DNA in two prospective observational cohort studies and found that increased mtDNA levels are associated with ICU mortality, and improve risk prediction in medical ICU patients. The data suggests that mtDNA could serve as a viable plasma biomarker in MICU patients.
Background
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a critical activator of inflammation and the innate immune system. However, mtDNA level has not been tested for its role as a biomarker in the intensive care unit (ICU). We hypothesized that circulating cell-free mtDNA levels would be associated with mortality and improve risk prediction in ICU patients.
Methods and Findings
Analyses of mtDNA levels were performed on blood samples obtained from two prospective observational cohort studies of ICU patients (the Brigham and Women's Hospital Registry of Critical Illness [BWH RoCI, n = 200] and Molecular Epidemiology of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome [ME ARDS, n = 243]). mtDNA levels in plasma were assessed by measuring the copy number of the NADH dehydrogenase 1 gene using quantitative real-time PCR. Medical ICU patients with an elevated mtDNA level (≥3,200 copies/µl plasma) had increased odds of dying within 28 d of ICU admission in both the BWH RoCI (odds ratio [OR] 7.5, 95% CI 3.6–15.8, p = 1×10−7) and ME ARDS (OR 8.4, 95% CI 2.9–24.2, p = 9×10−5) cohorts, while no evidence for association was noted in non-medical ICU patients. The addition of an elevated mtDNA level improved the net reclassification index (NRI) of 28-d mortality among medical ICU patients when added to clinical models in both the BWH RoCI (NRI 79%, standard error 14%, p<1×10−4) and ME ARDS (NRI 55%, standard error 20%, p = 0.007) cohorts. In the BWH RoCI cohort, those with an elevated mtDNA level had an increased risk of death, even in analyses limited to patients with sepsis or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Study limitations include the lack of data elucidating the concise pathological roles of mtDNA in the patients, and the limited numbers of measurements for some of biomarkers.
Conclusions
Increased mtDNA levels are associated with ICU mortality, and inclusion of mtDNA level improves risk prediction in medical ICU patients. Our data suggest that mtDNA could serve as a viable plasma biomarker in medical ICU patients.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Intensive care units (ICUs, also known as critical care units) are specialist hospital wards that provide care for people with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. In the US alone, more than 5 million people are admitted to ICUs every year. Different types of ICUs treat different types of problems. Medical ICUs treat patients who, for example, have been poisoned or who have a serious infection such as sepsis (blood poisoning) or severe pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs); trauma ICUs treat patients who have sustained a major injury; cardiac ICUs treat patients who have heart problems; and surgical ICUs treat complications arising from operations. Patients admitted to ICUs require constant medical attention and support from a team of specially trained nurses and physicians to prevent organ injury and to keep their bodies functioning. Monitors, intravenous tubes (to supply essential fluids, nutrients, and drugs), breathing machines, catheters (to drain urine), and other equipment also help to keep ICU patients alive.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although many patients admitted to ICUs recover, others do not. ICU specialists use scoring systems (algorithms) based on clinical signs and physiological measurements to predict their patients' likely outcomes. For example, the APACHE II scoring system uses information on heart and breathing rates, temperature, levels of salts in the blood, and other signs and physiological measurements collected during the first 24 hours in the ICU to predict the patient's risk of death. Existing scoring systems are not perfect, however, and “biomarkers” (molecules in bodily fluids that provide information about a disease state) are needed to improve risk prediction for ICU patients. Here, the researchers investigate whether levels of circulating cell-free mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are associated with ICU deaths and whether these levels can be used as a biomarker to improve risk prediction in ICU patients. Mitochondria are cellular structures that produce energy. Levels of mtDNA in the plasma (the liquid part of blood) increase in response to trauma and infection. Moreover, mtDNA activates molecular processes that lead to inflammation and organ injury.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured mtDNA levels in the plasma of patients enrolled in two prospective observational cohort studies that monitored the outcomes of ICU patients. In the Brigham and Women's Hospital Registry of Critical Illness study, blood was taken from 200 patients within 24 hours of admission into the hospital's medical ICU. In the Molecular Epidemiology of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome study (acute respiratory distress syndrome is a life-threatening inflammatory reaction to lung damage or infection), blood was taken from 243 patients within 48 hours of admission into medical and non-medical ICUs at two other US hospitals. Patients admitted to medical ICUs with a raised mtDNA level (3,200 or more copies of a specific mitochondrial gene per microliter of plasma) had a 7- to 8-fold increased risk of dying within 28 days of admission compared to patients with mtDNA levels of less than 3,200 copies/µl plasma. There was no evidence of an association between raised mtDNA levels and death among patients admitted to non-medical ICUs. The addition of an elevated mtDNA level to a clinical model for risk prediction that included the APACHE II score and biomarkers that are already used to predict ICU outcomes improved the net reclassification index (an indicator of the improvement in risk prediction algorithms offered by new biomarkers) of 28-day mortality among medical ICU patients in both studies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that raised mtDNA plasma levels are associated with death in medical ICUs and show that, among patients in medical ICUs, measurement of mtDNA plasma levels can improve the prediction of the risk of death from the APACHE II scoring system, even when commonly measured biomarkers are taken into account. These findings do not indicate whether circulating cell-free mtDNA increased because of the underlying severity of illness or whether mtDNA actively contributes to the disease process in medical ICU patients. Moreover, they do not provide any evidence that raised mtDNA levels are associated with an increased risk of death among non-medical (mainly surgical) ICU patients. These findings need to be confirmed in additional patients, but given the relative ease and rapidity of mtDNA measurement, the determination of circulating cell-free mtDNA levels could be a valuable addition to the assessment of patients admitted to medical ICUs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001577.
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about intensive care
The Society of Critical Care Medicine provides information for professionals, families, and patients about all aspects of intensive care
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about intensive care (in English and Spanish)
The UK charity ICUsteps supports patients and their families through recovery from critical illness; its booklet Intensive Care: A Guide for Patients and Families is available in English and ten other languages; its website includes patient experiences and relative experiences of treatment in ICUs
Wikipedia has a page on ICU scoring systems (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001577
PMCID: PMC3876981  PMID: 24391478
8.  Critical illness in systemic lupus erythematosus and the antiphospholipid syndrome 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2002;61(5):414-421.
Objectives: To investigate the causes, course, and outcome of critical illness requiring emergency admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), or both.
Methods: Critically ill patients with SLE or APS, or both, admitted to a London teaching hospital ICU over a 15 year period were studied. Demographic, diagnostic, physiological, laboratory, and survival data were analysed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed by age, time from first diagnosis of SLE, and time from first ICU admission. The log rank test and a backwards stepwise Cox regression were used to identify factors associated with reduced survival.
Results: Sixty one patients with SLE alone (39%) and/or APS (61%) required 76 emergency admissions to the ICU. Patients had high severity of illness scores (median APACHE II 22 (range 8–45)) and multiorgan dysfunction. The primary diagnoses for patients admitted were infection in 31/76 (41%), renal disease in 16/76 (21%), cardiovascular disease in 12/76 (16%), and coagulopathies in 11/76 (14%). The commonest secondary diagnosis was renal dysfunction (49%). Factors associated with an increased risk of death were cyclophosphamide before admission, low white cell count, and high severity of illness score. Before adjustment for these factors renal disease had a strong adverse effect on long term survival (analysis by age at diagnosis p=0.005, analysis by time since first ICU admission, p=0.07). After adjustment, infection at admission to ICU was associated with an increased ICU mortality (p=0.02) and was the cause of death in 13/17 patients who died in the ICU. Similarly, after adjustment, APS was associated with reduced ICU survival (p=0.1) and reduced long term (p=0.03) survival. Seventeen patients (28%) died in the ICU, and 31 patients (51%) had died by the last follow up. Median time from ICU admission to death was four years. Overall five year survival from the first ICU admission was 43%.
Conclusion: Critical illness requiring ICU admission may occur in patients with SLE and APS. In this study, ICU survival was better than previously described, but long term survival was poor. Cyclophosphamide administration, low white cell count, and high severity of illness score were associated with reduced survival. Before adjustment for these factors, only renal disease had an adverse effect on outcome but after adjustment, infection and APS reduced survival.
doi:10.1136/ard.61.5.414
PMCID: PMC1754095  PMID: 11959765
9.  Antiretroviral Treatment and Prevention of Peripartum and Postnatal HIV Transmission in West Africa: Evaluation of a Two-Tiered Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(8):e257.
Background
Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) has only been recently recommended for HIV-infected pregnant women requiring treatment for their own health in resource-limited settings. However, there are few documented experiences from African countries. We evaluated the short-term (4 wk) and long-term (12 mo) effectiveness of a two-tiered strategy of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Africa: women meeting the eligibility criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) received HAART, and women with less advanced HIV disease received short-course antiretroviral (scARV) PMTCT regimens.
Methods and Findings
The MTCT-Plus Initiative is a multi-country, family-centred HIV care and treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women and their families. Pregnant women enrolled in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire received either HAART for their own health or short-course antiretroviral (scARV) PMTCT regimens according to their clinical and immunological status. Plasma HIV-RNA viral load (VL) was measured to diagnose peripartum infection when infants were 4 wk of age, and HIV final status was documented either by rapid antibody testing when infants were aged ≥ 12 mo or by plasma VL earlier. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the rate of HIV transmission and HIV-free survival. Between August 2003 and June 2005, 107 women began HAART at a median of 30 wk of gestation, 102 of them with zidovudine (ZDV), lamivudine (3TC), and nevirapine (NVP) and they continued treatment postpartum; 143 other women received scARV for PMTCT, 103 of them with sc(ZDV+3TC) with single-dose NVP during labour. Most (75%) of the infants were breast-fed for a median of 5 mo. Overall, the rate of peripartum HIV transmission was 2.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.3%–4.2%) and the cumulative rate at 12 mo was 5.7% (95% CI 2.5%–9.0%). The overall probability of infant death or infection with HIV was 4.3% (95% CI 1.7%–7.0%) at age week 4 wk and 11.7% (95% CI 7.5%–15.9%) at 12 mo.
Conclusions
This two-tiered strategy appears to be safe and highly effective for short- and long-term PMTCT in resource-constrained settings. These results indicate a further benefit of access to HAART for pregnant women who need treatment for their own health.
In an observational cohort study from Côte d'Ivoire, François Dabis and colleagues report on prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission among women receiving antiretroviral therapy according to World Health Organization recommendations.
Editors' Summary
Background
Effective treatments are available to prevent AIDS in people who are infected with HIV, but not everyone with HIV needs to take medication. Usually, anti-HIV medication is recommended only for those whose immune systems have been significantly affected by the virus, as evidenced by symptoms or by the results of a blood test, the CD4 lymphocyte (“T cell”) count. Treating HIV usually requires a combination of three or more medications. These combinations (called HAART) must be taken every day, can cause complications, and can be expensive.
Worldwide, more than half a million children became infected with HIV each year. Most of these children acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy or around the time of birth. If a pregnant woman with HIV takes HAART, her chances of passing HIV to the baby are greatly reduced, but the possible side effects of HAART on the baby are not known. Also, most transmission of HIV from mothers to babies occurs in poor countries where supplies of HAART are limited. For these reasons, World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend that every pregnant woman receive HAART to prevent HIV transmission to the baby, unless the woman needs HAART for her own health (for example if her T cells are low or she has severe symptoms of HIV infection). For pregnant women with HIV who do not need to take HAART for their own health, less complicated treatments, involving a short course of one or two HIV drugs, can be used to reduce the risk of passing HIV to the baby.
Why Was This Study Done?
The WHO recommendations for HAART in pregnancy are based on the best available evidence, but it is important to know how well they work in actual practice. The authors of this study were providing HIV treatment to pregnant women with HIV in West Africa through an established clinic program in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and wanted to see how well the WHO recommendations for HAART or short-course treatments, depending on the mother's condition, were working to protect babies from HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers studied 250 HIV-infected pregnant women who received HIV medications in the Abidjan program between mid-2003 and mid-2005. In accordance with WHO guidelines, 107 women began HAART for their own health during pregnancy, and 143 women did not qualify for HAART but received other short course treatments (scARV) to prevent HIV transmission to their babies. The authors monitored mothers and babies for treatment side effects and tested the babies for HIV infection up to age 1 y.
They found that HAART was relatively safe during pregnancy, although babies born to women on HAART were more likely (26.3%) to have low birth weight than babies born to women who received scARV (12.4%). Also, 7.5% of women on HAART developed side effects requiring a change in their medications. Combining the results from HAART and scART groups, the chance of HIV transmission around the time of birth was 2.2%, increasing to 5.7% at age 1 y. (Three-quarters of the infants were breast-fed; safe water for mixing formula was not reliably available.) The study found no difference in risk of HIV infection between babies whose mothers received HAART and those whose mothers received scARV according to guidelines.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results support the safety and effectiveness of the WHO two-tiered approach for preventing mother-to-child transmission. This study was not designed to compare HAART to scART directly, because the women who received HAART were the ones with more advanced HIV infection, which might have affected their babies in many ways.
Compared to earlier pregnancy studies of HAART in rich countries, this study of the WHO approach in West Africa showed similar success in protecting infants from HIV infection around the time of birth. Unfortunately, because formula feeding was not generally available in resource-limited settings, protection declined over the first year of life with breast-feeding, but some protection remained.
This study confirms that close monitoring of pregnant women on HAART is necessary, so that drugs can be changed if side effects develop. The study does not tell us whether using scARV in pregnancy might change the virus in ways that would make it more difficult to treat the same women with HAART later if they needed it. The reason for low birth weight in some babies born to mothers on HAART is unclear. It may be because the women who needed HAART had more severe health problems from their HIV, or it may be a result of the HAART itself.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040257.
World Health Organization has a page on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
“Women, Children, and HIV” is a resource site from the François Xavier Bagnoud Center and UCSF
The MTCT-Plus initiative at Columbia University supports the programs in Abidjan
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040257
PMCID: PMC1949842  PMID: 17713983
10.  Improved survival for HIV infected patients with severe Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia is independent of highly active antiretroviral therapy 
Thorax  2006;61(8):716-721.
Background
Despite a decline in incidence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), severe PCP continues to be a common cause of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) where mortality remains high. A study was undertaken to examine the outcome from intensive care for patients with PCP and to identify prognostic factors.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study was conducted of HIV infected adults admitted to a university affiliated hospital ICU between November 1990 and October 2005. Case note review collected information on demographic variables, use of prophylaxis and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and hospital course. The main outcome was 1 month mortality, either on the ICU or in hospital.
Results
Fifty nine patients were admitted to the ICU on 60 occasions. Thirty four patients (57%) required mechanical ventilation. Overall mortality was 53%. No patient received HAART before or during ICU admission. Multivariate analysis showed that the factors associated with mortality were the year of diagnosis (before mid 1996 (mortality 71%) compared with later (mortality 34%; p = 0.008)), age (p = 0.016), and the need for mechanical ventilation and/or development of pneumothorax (p = 0.031). Mortality was not associated with sex, ethnicity, prior receipt of sulpha prophylaxis, haemoglobin, serum albumin, CD4 count, Pao2, A‐ao2 gradient, co‐pathology in bronchoscopic lavage fluid, medical co‐morbidity, APACHE II score, or duration of mechanical ventilation.
Conclusions
Observed improved outcomes from severe PCP for patients admitted to the ICU occurred in the absence of intervention with HAART and probably reflect general improvements in ICU management of respiratory failure and ARDS rather than improvements in the management of PCP.
doi:10.1136/thx.2005.055905
PMCID: PMC2104703  PMID: 16601092
AIDS; intensive care; mechanical ventilation;  Pneumocystis jirovecii ; opportunistic infections; respiratory failure
11.  Sepsis is a major determinant of outcome in critically ill HIV/AIDS patients 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):R152.
Introduction
New challenges have arisen for the management of critically ill HIV/AIDS patients. Severe sepsis has emerged as a common cause of intensive care unit (ICU) admission for those living with HIV/AIDS. Contrastingly, HIV/AIDS patients have been systematically excluded from sepsis studies, limiting the understanding of the impact of sepsis in this population. We prospectively followed up critically ill HIV/AIDS patients to evaluate the main risk factors for hospital mortality and the impact of severe sepsis on the short- and long-term survival.
Methods
All consecutive HIV-infected patients admitted to the ICU of an infectious diseases research center, from June 2006 to May 2008, were included. Severity of illness, time since AIDS diagnosis, CD4 cell count, antiretroviral treatment, incidence of severe sepsis, and organ dysfunctions were registered. The 28-day, hospital, and 6-month outcomes were obtained for all patients. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis measured the effect of potential factors on 28-day and 6-month mortality.
Results
During the 2-year study period, 88 HIV/AIDS critically ill patients were admitted to the ICU. Seventy percent of patients had opportunist infections, median CD4 count was 75 cells/mm3, and 45% were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Location on a ward before ICU admission, cardiovascular and respiratory dysfunctions on the first day after admission, and the presence of severe sepsis/septic shock were associated with reduced 28-day and 6-month survival on a univariate analysis. After a multivariate analysis, severe sepsis determined the highest hazard ratio (HR) for 28-day (adjusted HR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.21-8.07) and 6-month (adjusted HR, 3.35; 95% CI, 1.42-7.86) mortality. Severe sepsis occurred in 44 (50%) patients, mainly because of lower respiratory tract infections. The survival of septic and nonseptic patients was significantly different at 28-day and 6-month follow-up times (log-rank and Peto test, P < 0.001).
Conclusions
Severe sepsis has emerged as a major cause of admission and mortality for hospitalized HIV/AIDS patients, significantly affecting short- and longer-term survival of critically ill HIV/AIDS patients.
doi:10.1186/cc9221
PMCID: PMC2945136  PMID: 20698966
12.  Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in three HIV-positive patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:37.
Background
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-saving bridging procedure in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Official indications for ECMO are unclear for immunocompromised and HIV-positive patients affected by severe hypoxemia. Uncertainties are related to prognosis and efficacy of treatment of the underlying disease. However, the care of patients with HIV infection has advanced since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), with increased life expectancy and decreased mortality.
Case presentation
Three HIV-infected patients with AIDS were admitted to ICU and were treated with ECMO: a 21 years old Caucasian female with congenital HIV infection presented with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP); a 38 years old Caucasian female with HIV-HCV infection and L. pneumophila pneumonia; a 24 years old Caucasian male with fever, cough weight loss and PJP pneumonia. Two patients were alive, with a good immunovirological profile and they went back to their previous quality of life. The last patient died with septic shock after three months of ICU stay.
Conclusion
ECMO was effective in three HIV-positive patients with an otherwise fatal respiratory failure. All patients had severe immunosuppression and/or limited antiretroviral options. A multidisciplinary critical team is needed to individualize the use of ECMO in immunocompromised patients, including those with HIV infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-14-37
PMCID: PMC4057620  PMID: 24932132
ECMO; HIV; AIDS; HAART; ARDS; Pneumonia; PJP; Legionella; Immunocompromised patients
13.  Medical ICU Admission Diagnoses and Outcomes in Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected and Virus–Uninfected Veterans in the Combination Antiretroviral Era 
Critical care medicine  2013;41(6):1458-1467.
Objectives
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected (HIV+) patients on combination antiretroviral therapy are living longer but have increased risk for aging-associated disease which may lead to increasing critical care requirements. We compare medical ICU admission characteristics and outcomes among HIV infected and demographically similar uninfected patients (uninfected) and considered whether an index which combines routine clinical biomarkers (the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index) predicts 30-day medical ICU mortality.
Design
Observational data analyses (Veterans Aging Cohort Study).
Setting
Eight Veterans Affairs medical centers nationwide.
Patients
HIV infected and uninfected with a medical ICU admission between 2002 and 2010.
Intervention
None.
Measurements and Main Results
Medical ICU admission was determined using bedsection (Veterans Affairs) and revenue center codes (Medicare). For Veterans Affairs admissions, we used clinical data to calculate Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index scores and multivariable logistic regression to determine factors associated with 30-day mortality. Overall, 539 of 3,620 (15%) HIV infected and 375 of 3,639 (10%) uninfected had a medical ICU admission; 72% and 78%, respectively, were Veterans Affairs based. HIV+ patients were younger at admission (p < 0.0001). Although most HIV+ patients were on antiretroviral therapy (71%) with undetectable HIV-1 RNA (54%), compared with uninfected they were more commonly admitted with respiratory diagnoses or infections (21% vs. 12%), were more likely to require mechanical ventilation (17% vs. 9%; p = 0.001), and had a higher mortality rate (18.6% vs. 11.2%, p = 0.003). Cardiovascular diagnoses were less common among HIV infected (18% vs. 29%; p < 0.0001). In logistic regression (c-statistic 0.87), a 5-point increment in Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index was associated with an odds ratio of death of 1.22 (95% confidence interval 1.14–1.30) among HIV infected and of 1.50 (95% confidence interval 1.29–1.76) among uninfected; infection/sepsis and respiratory diagnoses were also associated with mortality.
Conclusions
Medical ICU admission was frequent, 30-day mortality higher, and mechanical ventilation more common in HIV infected compared with uninfected. The Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index calculated at medical ICU admission predicted 30-day mortality for HIV infected and uninfected. As more individuals age with HIV, their requirements for medical ICU care may be greater than demographically similar uninfected individuals.
doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e31827caa46
PMCID: PMC4283206  PMID: 23507717
30-day mortality; comorbidity; human immunodeficiency virus; medical ICU; Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index
14.  Highly active antiretroviral therapy and hospital readmission: comparison of a matched cohort 
Background
Despite the known efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a large proportion of potentially-eligible HIV-infected patients do not access, and may stand to benefit from this treatment. In order to quantify these benefits in terms of reductions in hospitalizations and hospitalization costs, we sought to determine the impact of HAART on hospital readmission among HIV-infected patients hospitalized at St. Paul's Hospital (SPH) in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Methods
All patients admitted to a specialized HIV/AIDS ward at SPH (Apr. 1997 – Oct. 2002) were selected and classified as being on HAART or not on HAART based upon their initial admission. Patients were then matched by their propensity scores, which were calculated based on patients' sociodemographics such as age, gender, injection drug use (IDU) status, and AIDS indication, and followed up for one year. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the difference in the odds of hospital readmission between patients on and not on HAART.
Results
Out of a total 1084 patients admitted to the HIV/AIDS ward between 1997 and 2002, 662 were matched according to their propensity score; 331 patients each on and not on HAART. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that patients on HAART had lower odds of AIDS hospital readmission (OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.42 – 0.89) compared to patients not on HAART. Odds of readmission among patients on HAART were also significantly lower for non-IDU related readmission (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.53 – 0.99) and overall readmission (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53 – 0.98).
Conclusion
Propensity score matching allowed us to reliably estimate the association between exposure (on or not on HAART) and outcome (readmitted to hospital). We found that HIV-infected patients who were potentially eligible for, but not on HAART had higher odds of being readmitted to hospital compared to those on HAART. Given the low level of uptake (31%) of HAART observed in our pre-matched hospitalized cohort, a large potential to achieve clinical benefits, reduce hospitalization costs and possibly slow disease progression from improved HAART uptake still exists.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-146
PMCID: PMC1617096  PMID: 17022826
15.  The Effect of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy on the Survival of HIV-Infected Children in a Resource-Deprived Setting: A Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1001044.
This observational cohort study by Andrew Edmonds and colleagues reports that treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) markedly improves the survival of HIV-infected children in Kinshasa, DRC, a resource-deprived setting.
Background
The effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the survival of HIV-infected children has not been well quantified. Because most pediatric HIV occurs in low- and middle-income countries, our objective was to provide a first estimate of this effect among children living in a resource-deprived setting.
Methods and Findings
Observational data from HAART-naïve children enrolled into an HIV care and treatment program in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, between December 2004 and May 2010 were analyzed. We used marginal structural models to estimate the effect of HAART on survival while accounting for time-dependent confounders affected by exposure. At the start of follow-up, the median age of the 790 children was 5.9 y, 528 (66.8%) had advanced or severe immunodeficiency, and 405 (51.3%) were in HIV clinical stage 3 or 4. The children were observed for a median of 31.2 mo and contributed a total of 2,089.8 person-years. Eighty children (10.1%) died, 619 (78.4%) initiated HAART, six (0.8%) transferred to a different care provider, and 76 (9.6%) were lost to follow-up. The mortality rate was 3.2 deaths per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4–4.2) during receipt of HAART and 6.0 deaths per 100 person-years (95% CI 4.1–8.6) during receipt of primary HIV care only. The mortality hazard ratio comparing HAART with no HAART from a marginal structural model was 0.25 (95% CI 0.06–0.95).
Conclusions
HAART reduced the hazard of mortality in HIV-infected children in Kinshasa by 75%, an estimate that is similar in magnitude but with lower precision than the reported effect of HAART on survival among children in the United States.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2009, an estimated 2.5 million children were living with HIV, the majority of whom (2.3 million) were in sub-Saharan Africa. Most (90%) of these children acquired HIV from their HIV-infected mothers during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding, highlighting the importance of giving effective drugs for the prevention of mother to child transmission. As such interventions are still not widely accessible or available in most resource-limited countries, where the burden of HIV is highest, every day an estimated 1,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2009, but only 360,000 children were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Although HAART improves the survival of adults living with HIV, less is known about the degree to which HAART affects the survival of HIV-infected children—although response to antiretroviral treatment is known to differ across age groups. Furthermore, as the course of HIV disease in children is different from that in adults (partly because of the impact of the virus on the immature thymus, which can lead to high HIV RNA viremia and rapid death), it is inappropriate to extrapolate results from studies of adults to pediatric populations. Therefore, it is imperative that the effect of HAART on survival be quantified specifically in children.
Why Was This Study Done?
Most observational studies of the effects of treatment on child survival have been undertaken in high-income countries, such as Italy and the United States. As most children with HIV live in low-resource areas, where multiple factors, such as delayed presentation to care and a higher incidence of co-occurring conditions, might adversely affect treatment outcomes, there is a specific need for information on the effects of HAART in children with HIV living in low-income countries. Although some investigations have taken place in pediatric cohorts from such countries (for example, Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti, Lesotho, Thailand, and Zambia), the effect of HAART on mortality has not been accurately quantified among children in a resource-deprived setting. Therefore, in this observational clinical cohort study, the researchers investigated the effect of HAART on mortality in HIV-infected children in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed data from 790 children enrolled into an HIV program in Kinshasa, DRC, between December 2004 and May 2010 and used a statistical model (marginal structural models) to adjust for time-dependent confounding factors, such as the fact that HAART is typically initiated in sicker patients, for example, those with lower CD4 cell percentages. Assuming that all children starting HAART received it uninterruptedly throughout follow-up, using this statistical model, the researchers were able to compare the hazard ratio of death had all children initiated HAART to that had no children initiated HAART during follow-up.
In the study, 619 out of the 790 children (78.4%) initiated HAART during follow-up and were followed for a median of 31.2 months, with a median of 30 HIV care visits. Of those who started treatment, 110 (17.8%) switched to an alternative regimen because of an adverse event or treatment failure. During the 2,089.8 accrued person-years of follow-up, 80 children (10.1%) died, giving an overall mortality rate of 3.8 deaths per 100 person-years. The unadjusted mortality rate ratio comparing HAART to no HAART was 0.54. Using a marginal structural model, the researchers estimated that compared to no HAART, HAART reduced the hazard (rate) of mortality during follow-up by 75%.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that treatment with HAART markedly improved the survival of children infected with HIV in Kinshasa, DRC, and suggest that HAART is as effective in improving the survival of HIV-infected children in a severely resource-deprived country (still recovering from civil war) as in more resource-privileged settings—an important finding given that the vast majority of children receiving HAART live in resource-poor areas. This study provides additional evidence that accelerating rollout of antiretroviral therapy to children with HIV in resource-poor countries is lifesaving and effective. Future research needs to address how effective HAART is in understudied populations in resource-poor countries, such as undernourished children or those with co-infections such as tuberculosis.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001044.
The World Health Organization's Web site has more information about the treatment of children living with HIV
Médecins Sans Frontières's Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines Web site has more information on pediatric HAART
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001044
PMCID: PMC3114869  PMID: 21695087
16.  Public-Health and Individual Approaches to Antiretroviral Therapy: Township South Africa and Switzerland Compared 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(7):e148.
Background
The provision of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in resource-limited settings follows a public health approach, which is characterised by a limited number of regimens and the standardisation of clinical and laboratory monitoring. In industrialized countries doctors prescribe from the full range of available antiretroviral drugs, supported by resistance testing and frequent laboratory monitoring. We compared virologic response, changes to first-line regimens, and mortality in HIV-infected patients starting HAART in South Africa and Switzerland.
Methods and Findings
We analysed data from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and two HAART programmes in townships of Cape Town, South Africa. We included treatment-naïve patients aged 16 y or older who had started treatment with at least three drugs since 2001, and excluded intravenous drug users. Data from a total of 2,348 patients from South Africa and 1,016 patients from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study were analysed. Median baseline CD4+ T cell counts were 80 cells/μl in South Africa and 204 cells/μl in Switzerland. In South Africa, patients started with one of four first-line regimens, which was subsequently changed in 514 patients (22%). In Switzerland, 36 first-line regimens were used initially, and these were changed in 539 patients (53%). In most patients HIV-1 RNA was suppressed to 500 copies/ml or less within one year: 96% (95% confidence interval [CI] 95%–97%) in South Africa and 96% (94%–97%) in Switzerland, and 26% (22%–29%) and 27% (24%–31%), respectively, developed viral rebound within two years. Mortality was higher in South Africa than in Switzerland during the first months of HAART: adjusted hazard ratios were 5.90 (95% CI 1.81–19.2) during months 1–3 and 1.77 (0.90–3.50) during months 4–24.
Conclusions
Compared to the highly individualised approach in Switzerland, programmatic HAART in South Africa resulted in similar virologic outcomes, with relatively few changes to initial regimens. Further innovation and resources are required in South Africa to both achieve more timely access to HAART and improve the prognosis of patients who start HAART with advanced disease.
Comparing HIV treatment in Switzerland, where drug selection is individualized, and South Africa, where a programmatic approach is used, Matthias Egger and colleagues find similar virologic outcomes over two years.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has killed more than 25 million people since the first reported case in 1981, and more than 30 million people are now infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. HIV destroys immune system cells (including CD4 cells, a type of lymphocyte), leaving infected individuals susceptible to other infections. Early in the AIDS epidemic, most HIV-infected people died within 10 years of becoming infected. Then, in 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)—a combination of several antiretroviral drugs—was developed. Now, in resource-rich countries, clinicians provide individually tailored care for HIV-infected people by prescribing combinations of antiretroviral drugs chosen from more than 20 approved medicines. The approach to treatment of HIV in developed countries typically also includes frequent monitoring of the amount of virus in patients' blood (viral load), viral resistance testing (to see whether any viruses are resistant to specific antiretroviral drugs), and regular CD4 cell counts (an indication of immune-system health). Since the implementation of these interventions, the health and life expectancy of people with HIV has improved dramatically in these countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
The history of HIV care in resource-poor countries has been very different. Initially, these countries could not afford to provide HAART for their populations. In 2003, however, governments, international agencies, and funding bodies began to implement plans to increase HAART coverage in developing countries. By December 2006, more than a quarter of the HIV-infected people in low- and middle-income countries who urgently needed treatment were receiving HAART. However, instead of individualized treatment, HAART programs in developing countries follow a public-health approach developed by the World Health Organization. That is, drug regimens, clinical decision-making, and clinical and laboratory monitoring are all standardized. This public-health approach takes into account the realities of under-resourced health systems, but is it as effective as the individualized approach? The researchers addressed this question by comparing virologic responses (the effect of treatment on the viral load), changes to first-line (initial) therapy, and deaths in patients receiving HAART in South Africa (public-health approach) and in Switzerland (individualized approach).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed data collected since 2001 from more than 2,000 patients enrolled in HAART programs in two townships (Gugulethu and Khayelitsha) in Cape Town, South Africa, and from more than 1,000 patients enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, a nationwide study of HIV-infected people. The patients in South Africa, who had a lower starting CD4 cell count and were more likely to have advanced AIDS than the patients in Switzerland, started their treatment for HIV infection with one of four first-line therapies, and about a quarter changed to a second-line therapy during the study. By contrast, 36 first-line regimens were used in Switzerland and half the patients changed to a different regimen. Despite these differences, the viral load was greatly reduced within a year in virtually all the patients and viral rebound (an increased viral load after a low measurement) developed within 2 years in a quarter of the patients in both countries. However, more patients died in South Africa than in Switzerland, particularly during the first 3 months of therapy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the public-health approach to HAART practiced in South Africa is as effective in terms of virologic outcomes as the individualized approach practiced in Switzerland. This is reassuring because it suggests that “antiretroviral anarchy” (the unregulated use of antiretroviral drugs, interruptions in drug supplies, and the lack of treatment monitoring), which is likely to lead to the emergence of viral resistance, is not happening in South Africa as some experts feared it might. Thus, these findings support the continued rollout of the public-health approach to HAART in resource-poor countries. Conversely, they also suggest that a more standardized approach to HAART could be taken in Switzerland (and in other industrialized countries) without compromising its effectiveness. Finally, the higher mortality in South Africa than in Switzerland, which partly reflects the many patients in South Africa in desperate need of HAART and their more advanced disease at the start of therapy, suggests that HIV-infected patients in South Africa and in other resource-limited countries would benefit from earlier initiation of therapy.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050148.
The World Health Organization provides information about universal access to HIV treatment (in several languages) and on its recommendations for a public-health approach to antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection
More details on the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and on the studies in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha are available
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including detailed information about antiretroviral therapy and links to treatment guidelines for various countries
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS around the world and on providing AIDS drug treatment for millions
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050148
PMCID: PMC2443185  PMID: 18613745
17.  Retrospective analysis of outcome of women with breast or gynaecological cancer in the intensive care unit 
JRSM Short Reports  2013;4(1):2.
Objectives
Advances in oncological care have led to improved short and long-term outcomes of female patients with breast and gynecological cancer but little is known about their prognosis when admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Our aim was to describe the epidemiology of patients with women's cancer in ICU.
Design
Retrospective analysis of data of patients with breast and gynecological cancer in ICU between February 2004 and July 2008.
Setting
ICU in a tertiary referral centre in London.
Participants
Nineteen critically ill women with breast or gynaecological cancer.
Main outcome measures
ICU and six-month outcome.
Results
Eleven women had breast cancer and eight patients had gynaecological cancer. Twelve patients were known to have metastatic disease. The main reasons for admission to ICU were sepsis (94.7%), respiratory failure (36.8%) and need for vasoactive support (26.3%). ICU mortality was 31.6%. There was no difference in age and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score on admission to ICU between ICU survivors and non-survivors. During their stay in ICU, non-survivors had significantly more organ failure. Six-month mortality was 68.4%. Four patients had >1 admission to ICU.
Conclusions
ICU outcome of critically ill women with breast or gynaecological cancer was similar to that of other non-cancer patient cohorts but six-month mortality was significantly higher. The decision to admit patients with women's cancer to the ICU should depend on the severity of the acute illness rather than factors related to the underlying malignancy. More research is needed to explore the outcome of patients with women's cancer after discharge from ICU.
doi:10.1258/shorts.2012.012036
PMCID: PMC3572657  PMID: 23413404
18.  Determinants of mortality for adults with cystic fibrosis admitted in Intensive Care Unit: a multicenter study 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):14.
Background
Intensive care unit (ICU) admission of adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) is controversial because of poor outcome. This appraisal needs re-evaluation following recent changes in both CF management and ICU daily practice. Objectives were to determine long-term outcome of adults with CF admitted in ICU and to identify prognostic factors.
Methods
Retrospective multicenter study of 60 ICU hospitalizations for 42 adult CF patients admitted between 2000 and 2003. Reason for ICU admission, ventilatory support provided and one-year survival were recorded. Multiple logistic analysis was used to determine predictors of mortality.
Results
Prior to ICU admission, all patients (mean age 28.1 ± 8 yr) had a severe lung disease (mean FEV1 28 ± 12% predicted; mean PaCO2 47 ± 9 mmHg). Main reason for ICU hospitalization was pulmonary infective exacerbation (40/60). At admission, noninvasive ventilation was used in 57% of cases and was successful in 67% of patients. Endotracheal intubation was implemented in 19 episodes. Overall ICU mortality rate was 14%. One year after ICU discharge, 10 of the 28 survivors have been lung transplanted. Among recognized markers of CF disease severity, only the annual FEV1 loss was associated with a poor outcome (HR = 1.47 [1.18–1.85], p = 0.001). SAPSII (HR = 1.08 [1.03–1.12], p < 0.001) and endotracheal intubation (HR = 16.60 [4.35–63.34], p < 0.001) were identified as strong independent predictors of mortality.
Conclusion
Despite advanced lung disease, adult patients with CF admitted in ICU have high survival rate. Endotracheal intubation is associated with a poor prognosis and should be used as the last alternative. Although efforts have to be made in selecting patients with CF likely to benefit from ICU resources, ICU admission of these patients should be considered.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-7-14
PMCID: PMC1403757  PMID: 16438722
19.  Disability in activities of daily living, depression, and quality of life among older medical ICU survivors: a prospective cohort study 
Background
Accurate measurement of quality of life in older ICU survivors is difficult but critical for understanding the long-term impact of our treatments. Activities of daily living (ADLs) are important components of functional status and more easily measured than quality of life (QOL). We sought to determine the cross-sectional associations between disability in ADLs and QOL as measured by version one of the Short Form 12-item Health Survey (SF-12) at both one month and one year post-ICU discharge.
Methods
Data was prospectively collected on 309 patients over age 60 admitted to the Yale-New Haven Hospital Medical ICU between 2002 and 2004. Among survivors an assessment of ADL's and QOL was performed at one month and one-year post-ICU discharge. The SF-12 was scored using the version one norm based scoring with 1990 population norms. Multivariable regression was used to adjust the association between ADLs and QOL for important covariates.
Results
Our analysis of SF-12 data from 110 patients at one month post-ICU discharge showed that depression and ADL disability were associated with decreased QOL. Our model accounted for 17% of variability in SF12 physical scores (PCS) and 20% of variability in SF12 mental scores (MCS). The mean PCS of 37 was significantly lower than the population mean whereas the mean MCS score of 51 was similar to the population mean. At one year mean PCS scores improved and ADL disability was no longer significantly associated with QOL. Mortality was 17% (53 patients) at ICU discharge, 26% (79 patients) at hospital discharge, 33% (105 patients) at one month post ICU admission, and was 45% (138 patients) at one year post ICU discharge.
Conclusions
In our population of older ICU survivors, disability in ADLs was associated with reduced QOL as measured by the SF-12 at one month but not at one year. Although better markers of QOL in ICU survivors are needed, ADLs are a readily observable outcome. In the meantime, clinicians must try to offer realistic estimates of prognosis based on available data and resources are needed to assist ICU survivors with impaired ADLs who wish to maintain their independence. More aggressive diagnosis and treatment of depression in this population should also be explored as an intervention to improve quality of life.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-9-9
PMCID: PMC3041645  PMID: 21294911
20.  Acute Kidney Injury Enhances Outcome Prediction Ability of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score in Critically Ill Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109649.
Introduction
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common and serious complication in intensive care unit (ICU) patients and also often part of a multiple organ failure syndrome. The sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score is an excellent tool for assessing the extent of organ dysfunction in critically ill patients. This study aimed to evaluate the outcome prediction ability of SOFA and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score in ICU patients with AKI.
Methods
A total of 543 critically ill patients were admitted to the medical ICU of a tertiary-care hospital from July 2007 to June 2008. Demographic, clinical and laboratory variables were prospectively recorded for post hoc analysis as predictors of survival on the first day of ICU admission.
Results
One hundred and eighty-seven (34.4%) patients presented with AKI on the first day of ICU admission based on the risk of renal failure, injury to kidney, failure of kidney function, loss of kidney function, and end-stage renal failure (RIFLE) classification. Major causes of the ICU admissions involved respiratory failure (58%). Overall in-ICU mortality was 37.9% and the hospital mortality was 44.7%. The predictive accuracy for ICU mortality of SOFA (areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves: 0.815±0.032) was as good as APACHE III in the AKI group. However, cumulative survival rates at 6-month follow-up following hospital discharge differed significantly (p<0.001) for SOFA score ≤10 vs. ≥11 in these ICU patients with AKI.
Conclusions
For patients coexisting with AKI admitted to ICU, this work recommends application of SOFA by physicians to assess ICU mortality because of its practicality and low cost. A SOFA score of ≥ “11” on ICU day 1 should be considered an indicator of negative short-term outcome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109649
PMCID: PMC4184902  PMID: 25279844
21.  Hypothermia in a surgical intensive care unit 
BMC Anesthesiology  2005;5:7.
Background
Inadvertent hypothermia is not uncommon in the immediate postoperative period and it is associated with impairment and abnormalities in various organs and systems that can lead to adverse outcomes. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence, the predictive factors and outcome of core hypothermia on admission to a surgical ICU.
Methods
All consecutive 185 adult patients who underwent scheduled or emergency noncardiac surgery admitted to a surgical ICU between April and July 2004 were admitted to the study. Tympanic membrane core temperature (Tc) was measured before surgery, on arrival at ICU and every two hours until 6 hours after admission. The following variables were also recorded: age, sex, body weight and height, ASA physical status, type of surgery, magnitude of surgical procedure, anesthesia technique, amount of intravenous fluids administered during anesthesia, use of temperature monitoring and warming techniques, duration of the anesthesia, ICU length of stay, hospital length of stay and SAPS II score. Patients were classified as either hypothermic (Tc ≤ 35°C) or normothermic (Tc> 35°C). Univariate analysis and multiple regression binary logistic with an odds ratio (OR) and its 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) were used to compare the two groups of patients and assess the relationship between each clinical predictor and hypothermia. Outcome measured as ICU length of stay and mortality was also assessed.
Results
Prevalence of hypothermia on ICU admission was 57.8%. In univariate analysis temperature monitoring, use of warming techniques and higher previous body temperature were significant protective factors against core hypothermia. In this analysis independent predictors of hypothermia on admission to ICU were: magnitude of surgery, use of general anesthesia or combined epidural and general anesthesia, total intravenous crystalloids administrated and total packed erythrocytes administrated, anesthesia longer than 3 hours and SAPS II scores. In multiple logistic regression analysis significant predictors of hypothermia on admission to the ICU were magnitude of surgery (OR 3.9, 95% CI, 1.4–10.6, p = 0.008 for major surgery; OR 3.6, 95% CI, 1.5–9.0, p = 0.005 for medium surgery), intravenous administration of crystalloids (in litres) (OR 1.4, 95% CI, 1.1–1.7, p = 0.012) and SAPS score (OR 1.0, 95% CI 1.0–1.7, p = 0.014); higher previous temperature in ward was a significant protective factor (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.7, p = 0.003). Hypothermia was neither a risk factor for hospital mortality nor a predictive factor for staying longer in ICU.
Conclusion
The prevalence of patient hypothermia on ICU arrival was high. Hypothermia at time of admission to the ICU was not an independent factor for mortality or for staying longer in ICU.
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-5-7
PMCID: PMC1180426  PMID: 15938757
22.  Intensive care unit acquired infection has no impact on long-term survival or quality of life: a prospective cohort study 
Critical Care  2007;11(2):R35.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired infection on long-term survival and quality of life.
Methods
Long-term survival was prospectively evaluated among hospital survivors who had stayed in a mixed, university-level ICU for longer than 48 hours during a 14-month study period during 2002 to 2003. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the five-dimensional EuroQol (EQ-5D) questionnaire in January 2005.
Results
Of the 272 hospital survivors, 83 (30.5%) died after discharge during the follow-up period. The median follow-up time after hospital discharge was 22 months. Among patients without infection on admission, long-term mortality did not differ between patients who developed and those who did not develop an ICU-acquired infection (21.7% versus 26.9%; P = 0.41). Also, among patients with infection on admission, there was no difference in long-term mortality between patients who developed a superimposed (35.1%) and those who did not develop a superimposed (27.6%) ICU-acquired infection (P = 0.40). The EQ-5D response rate was 75 %. The patients who developed an ICU-acquired infection had significantly more problems with self-care (50%) than did those without an ICU-acquired infection (32%; P = 0.004), whereas multivariate analysis did not show ICU-acquired infection to be a significant risk factor for diminished self-care (odds ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.65–4.54; P = 0.28). General health status did not differ between those with and those without an ICU-acquired infection, as measured using the EuroQol visual-analogue scale (mean ± standard deviation EuroQol visual-analogue scale value: 60.2 ± 21 in patients without ICU-acquired infection versus 60.6 ± 22 in those with ICU-acquired infection). The current general level of health compared with status before ICU admission did not differ between the groups either. Only 36% of those employed resumed their previous jobs.
Conclusion
ICU-acquired infection had no impact on long-term survival. The patients with ICU-acquired infection more frequently experienced problems with self-care than did those without ICU infection, but ICU-acquired infection was not a significant risk factor for diminished self-care in multivariate analysis.
doi:10.1186/cc5718
PMCID: PMC2206451  PMID: 17346355
23.  OUTCOMES FOR CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS WITH HIV AND SEVERE SEPSIS IN THE ERA OF HIGHLY ACTIVE ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY 
Journal of Critical Care  2011;27(1):51-57.
RATIONALE
With the advent of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), sepsis has become a more frequent ICU diagnosis for patients with HIV infections. Yet, little is known about the etiologies of acute infections in critically ill patients with HIV and the factors that affect in-hospital mortality.
METHODS
Cases of patients with HIV requiring intensive care specifically for severe sepsis were identified over 27 months. Demographic information, variables related to acute illness severity, variables related to HIV infection, and all acute infections contributing to ICU stay were recorded.
RESULTS
Of 990 patients admitted to the ICU with severe sepsis, 136 (13.7%) were HIV-infected. There were 194 acute infections among the 125 patients with full data available; 112 of the infections were nosocomial/healthcare-associated, 55 were AIDS-related, and 27 were community-acquired. Patients with nosocomial/healthcare-associated and AIDS-related infections had lower CD4 counts and were less likely to be on HAART (p<0.05). The inpatient mortality was 42%. In a multivariable logistic regression model, only the APACHE II score (odds ratio, OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.02–1.23) was significantly associated with hospital mortality, although any HAART use (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.22–1.33, p=0.18) approached statistical significance.
CONCLUSIONS
In this large cohort study, nosocomial/healthcare-associated infections were common in ICU patients with HIV and severe sepsis. Hospital mortality was associated with acute illness severity, but not clearly associated with variables related to HIV infection. Interventions that aim to prevent or more effectively treat nosocomial infections in critically ill patients with HIV may favorably impact clinical outcomes.
doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2011.08.015
PMCID: PMC3269533  PMID: 22033058
24.  Infections, antibiotic treatment and mortality in patients admitted to ICUs in countries considered to have high levels of antibiotic resistance compared to those with low levels 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):513.
Background
Antimicrobial resistance is an increasing concern in ICUs worldwide. Infection with an antibiotic resistant (ABR) strain of an organism is associated with greater mortality than infection with the non-resistant strain, but there are few data assessing whether being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with high levels of antimicrobial resistance is associated with a worse outcome than being admitted to an ICU with low rates of resistance. The aim of this study was, therefore, to compare the characteristics of infections and antibiotic treatments and patient outcomes in patients admitted to ICUs in countries considered as having high levels of antibiotic resistance and those admitted to ICUs in countries considered as having low levels of antibiotic resistance.
Methods
Data from the large, international EPIC II one-day point prevalence study on infections in patients hospitalized in ICUs were used. For the current study, we compared the data obtained from patients from two groups of countries: countries with reported MRSA rates of ≥ 25% (highABR: Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey) and countries with MRSA rates of < 5% (lowABR: Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden).
Results
On the study day, 1187/2204 (53.9%) patients in the HighABR ICUs were infected and 255/558 (45.7%) in the LowABR ICUs (P < 0.01). Patients in the HighABR ICUs were more severely ill than those in the LowABR ICUs, as reflected by a higher SAPS II score (35.6 vs 32.7, P < 0.05) and had longer median ICU (12 days vs 5 days) and hospital (24 days vs 16 days) lengths of stay. They also had higher crude ICU (20.0% vs 15.4%) and hospital (27.0% vs 21.5%) mortality rates (both P < 0.05). However, after multivariable adjustment and matched pair analysis there were no differences in ICU or hospital mortality rates between High or LowABR ICU patients overall or among those with infections.
Conclusions
Being hospitalized in an ICU in a region with high levels of antimicrobial resistance is not associated per se with a worse outcome.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-513) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-513
PMCID: PMC4181425  PMID: 25245620
Infection; Critically ill; Antibiotic; Resistance
25.  Maternal and neonatal separation and mortality associated with concurrent admissions to intensive care units 
Background:
Concurrent admission of a mother and her newborn to separate intensive care units (herein referred to as co-ICU admission), possibly in different centres, can magnify family discord and stress. We examined the prevalence and predictors of mother–infant separation and mortality associated with co-ICU admissions.
Methods:
We completed a population-based study of all 1 023 978 singleton live births in Ontario between Apr. 1, 2002, and Mar. 31, 2010. We included data for maternal–infant pairs that had co-ICU admission (n = 1216), maternal ICU admission only (n = 897), neonatal ICU (NICU) admission only (n = 123 236) or no ICU admission (n = 898 629). The primary outcome measure was mother–infant separation because of interfacility transfer.
Results:
The prevalence of co-ICU admissions was 1.2 per 1000 live births and was higher than maternal ICU admissions (0.9 per 1000). Maternal–newborn separation due to interfacility transfer was 30.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 26.9–35.3) times more common in the co-ICU group than in the no-ICU group and exceeded the prevalence in the maternal ICU group and NICU group. Short-term infant mortality (< 28 days after birth) was higher in the co-ICU group (18.1 per 1000 live births; maternal age–adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 27.8, 95% CI 18.2–42.6) than in the NICU group (7.6 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 11.5, 95% CI 10.4–12.7), relative to 0.7 per 1000 in the no-ICU group. Short-term maternal mortality (< 42 days after delivery) was also higher in the co-ICU group (15.6 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 328.7, 95% CI 191.2–565.2) than in the maternal ICU group (6.7 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 140.0, 95% CI 59.5–329.2) or the NICU group (0.2 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 4.6, 95% CI 2.8–7.4).
Interpretation:
Mother–infant pairs in the co-ICU group had the highest prevalence of separation due to interfacility transfer and the highest mortality compared with those in the maternal ICU and NICU groups.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.121283
PMCID: PMC3519169  PMID: 23091180

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