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Crit Care Med. 2009 May;37(5):1605-11. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31819da8c7.

Benefit of antiretroviral therapy on survival of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients admitted to an intensive care unit.

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Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidadede São Paulo, Brazil.



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.


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.


The ICU of a tertiary-care teaching hospital at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.


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).


In-ICU and 6-month mortality.


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/mm(3) 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)].


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.

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