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Postgrad Med J. 2013 Feb;89(1048):73-7. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-130823. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Predictors of outcome in routine care for Cryptococcal meningitis in Western Kenya: lessons for HIV outpatient care in resource-limited settings.

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Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, Visiting Scientist, Research, Care and Training Program, Center for Microbiology Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Box 614-40100, Kisumu, Kenya.



Cryptococcal meningitis is a leading cause of mortality among HIV-infected individuals in sub-Saharan Africa but little is known about its treatment and outcomes in decentralised HIV outpatient settings. We assessed adherence to treatment guidelines and determined predictors of survival.


A computerised laboratory database identified HIV-infected adults with cryptococcal meningitis at Family AIDS Care and Education Services in Nyanza Province, Kenya, between 2005-2009. Medical records were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated. Bivariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine associations between key clinical characteristics and survival.


Medical records were located for 79% (71/90). Mortality was 38% (27/71) over a median follow-up period of 201 days (IQR: 10-705 days). Adherence to local guidelines for treatment of cryptococcal meningitis was 48% (34/71). Higher body mass index was associated with improved survival (HR: 0.82, 95% CI (0.68 to 0.99)) even after controlling for factors such as age, CD4 cell count, receipt of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, and treatment with any anti-fungal therapy.


Cryptococcal meningitis diagnosed in routine HIV outpatient settings is largely treated as an outpatient and adherence to treatment guidelines is poor. Body mass index is a critical independent predictor of outcome. Additional research to determine the most effective strategies to reduce premature mortality is urgently needed.

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