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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Aug;28(8):752-8. doi: 10.1089/AID.2011.0198. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Hyperlactatemia and in utero exposure to antiretrovirals: is the control group the clue?

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Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunodeficiencies Unit, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Perinatal antiretroviral (ARV) exposure has been related to hyperlactatemia and lactic acidosis in infants born to HIV-infected mothers. Our objective was to determine the incidence of these conditions during the first year of life in uninfected infants born to HIV-infected mothers and compare the data with infants born to mothers with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We investigated the relationships between hyperlactatemia and neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders by conducting a prospective, comparative cohort study (October 2004 to October 2007) consecutively including children of HIV- and HCV-infected mothers. Liver enzymes, pH, lactic acid, and plasma amino acids were determined at 1.5, 3, 6, and 12 months of life. Pathological hyperlactatemia was defined as lactate >2.1 mmol/liter together with alanine >475 μmol/liter. Seventy-nine patients (39 HIV-exposed patients and 40 unexposed patients) were included. Baseline maternal characteristics in the two groups were similar. Almost 90% of HIV-infected mothers received HAART during gestation, while 10.3% were given AZT monotherapy. Eight newborns received combined therapy and 31 received AZT-based monotherapy. Twelve patients (five exposed and seven nonexposed) had some neurological disorder, and four other patients (one vs. three) showed signs of neurodevelopmental delay, with no significant differences between the groups (p=0.34). Pathological hyperlactatemia was detected in 56.4% (95% CI 39.6-72.2) and 57.5% (95% CI 40.9-73.0) of patients, respectively (p=0.92), and this condition was more frequent in preterm children (p<0.05). ARV use during pregnancy and the neonatal period was not associated with pathological hyperlactatemia. The presence of hyperlactatemia was not associated with neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders. No association was established between the use of ARV agents and the development of hyperlactatemia or neurological disorders in HIV-exposed children during their first year of life.

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