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Clinical Investigations: INFECTION |

Lung CD4 Lymphocytes Predict Survival in Asymptomatic HIV Infection*

Mark D. Wewers, MD; Stanley Lemeshow, PhD; Amy Lehman, MS; Thomas L. Clanton, PhD; Philip T. Diaz, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division (Drs. Wewers, Clanton, and Diaz), Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, and Center for Biostatistics (Dr. Lemeshow and Ms. Lehman), The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Correspondence to: Mark D. Wewers, MD, Deputy Director, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, 201 Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, 473 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210; e-mail: wewers.2@osu.edu



Chest. 2005;128(4):2262-2267. doi:10.1378/chest.128.4.2262
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Background: Plasma viral load and blood CD4 counts are accepted indicators of severity of illness in patients with HIV-1. Lung CD4 counts have not been evaluated in asymptomatic HIV-1 patients as indicators of disease severity.

Objective: To determine if lung lymphocyte counts in asymptomatic subjects with HIV compare with plasma viral loads and blood CD4 counts in predicting survival.

Design: Retrospective, cross-sectional analysis.

Setting: Midwestern urban community, December 1996 to August 1998.

Participants: HIV-seropositive subjects (n = 95) without AIDS-related pulmonary complications.

Measurements: Plasma viral load, blood hemoglobin and blood lymphocyte subtypes, lung lymphocyte subtypes from BAL, body mass index, and mortality.

Results: Eight of the 95 subjects (8.4%) had died at the 4-year follow-up. Lung CD4 counts were significantly related to mortality by univariable analysis (2.5 × 103/mL vs 0.9 × 103/mL, median values for survivors vs nonsurvivors, respectively, p = 0.010). Modeling using exact methods further showed lung CD4 counts to be a significant predictor of survival after individually adjusting for potential confounders, including plasma viral load and blood CD4 count.

Conclusions: Lung CD4 counts in patients with HIV-1 infection may provide an independent predictor of survival.

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