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PLoS One. 2013 May 17;8(5):e63541. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063541. Print 2013.

Paradoxical tuberculosis immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) in HIV patients with culture confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis in India and the potential role of IL-6 in prediction.

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  • 1National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, India.



The incidence, manifestations, outcome and clinical predictors of paradoxical TB-IRIS in patients with HIV and culture confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in India have not been studied prospectively.


HIV+ patients with culture confirmed PTB started on anti-tuberculosis therapy (ATT) were followed prospectively after anti-retroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Established criteria for IRIS diagnosis were used including decline in plasma HIV RNA at IRIS event. Pre-ART plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between baseline variables and IRIS.


Of 57 patients enrolled, 48 had complete follow up data. Median ATT-ART interval was 28 days (interquartile range, IQR 14-47). IRIS events occurred in 26 patients (54.2%) at a median of 11 days (IQR: 7-16) after ART initiation. Corticosteroids were required for treatment of most IRIS events that resolved within a median of 13 days (IQR: 9-23). Two patients died due to CNS TB-IRIS. Lower CD4(+) T-cell counts, higher plasma HIV RNA levels, lower CD4/CD8 ratio, lower hemoglobin, shorter ATT to ART interval, extra-pulmonary or miliary TB and higher plasma IL-6 and CRP levels at baseline were associated with paradoxical TB-IRIS in the univariate analysis. Shorter ATT to ART interval, lower hemoglobin and higher IL-6 and CRP levels remained significant in the multivariate analysis.


Paradoxical TB-IRIS frequently complicates HIV-TB therapy in India. IL-6 and CRP may assist in predicting IRIS events and serve as potential targets for immune interventions.

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