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J Infect Dis. 1992 Dec;166(6):1223-7.

Incidence and natural history of cytomegalovirus disease in patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus disease treated with zidovudine. The Zidovudine Epidemiology Study Group.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


Data were analyzed from a multicenter observational cohort study of 1002 persons with AIDS or AIDS-related complex (ARC) and total CD4 cell count < 0.25 x 10(9)/L treated with zidovudine between April 1987 and April 1988. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease developed in 109 patients (10.9%), with a 2-year actuarial risk of 15%. Manifestations included retinitis (93 patients), esophagitis (10), colitis (8), gastritis (1), hepatitis (1), and encephalitis (1). The probability of CMV disease at 2 years for patients with initial counts < 0.1 x 10(9)/L was 21.4%, compared with 10.3% for patients with initial counts > or = 0.1 x 10(9)/L (P < .001). By proportional hazards analysis, baseline CD4 cell count < 0.1 x 10(9)/L, enrollment diagnosis of AIDS, and homosexuality were significantly associated with subsequently developing CMV disease. Median survival after diagnosis of CMV disease was 173 days, and CMV was an independent predictor of death. CMV contributes to AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. As new anti-CMV drugs become available, prophylaxis should be targeted at individuals with CD4 cell counts < 0.1 x 10(9)/L.

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