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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 Oct 1;76(2):219-224. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001480.

Brief Report: Peripheral Monocyte/Macrophage Phenotypes Associated With the Evolution of Cognitive Performance in HIV-Infected Patients.

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*Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy; †Apheresis Unit, Transfusion Medicine Service, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy; and ‡Unit of Clinical Psychology, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.



The contribution of monocyte activation in the development of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders is not completely understood. This study aimed to explore the predictive value of peripheral monocyte/macrophage (M/M) phenotypes on the evolution of cognitive performance in a population of virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients.


Prospective, observational, longitudinal study.


HIV-1-infected patients with HIV-RNA <50copies/mL for >12 months underwent neuropsychological examination at baseline and after 1 year. Cognitive performance was evaluated using Z-transformed scores, and neurocognitive impairment (NCI) was defined according to Frascati criteria. Peripheral M/M phenotypes (classic CD14CD16, intermediate CD14CD16, and nonclassic CD14CD16) and specific surface activation markers (eg, CD163, CD11b, and CD38) were evaluated using flow cytometry at baseline. Predictive value of peripheral M/M phenotypes on the evolution of cognitive performance over 1-year follow-up was also evaluated.


Overall, 54 patients [85.2% men, median age 50 years (range 27-60 years), 27.8% hepatitis C virus coinfected, 48.1% with past AIDS-defining events, median nadir CD4 83 cells/μL (range 1-334), median baseline CD4 547 cells/μL (range 136-1652)] were enrolled. Proportion of patients with NCI was low, accounting for 13% at baseline and 16.5% after 1 year (P = 0.687). Memory was the only single domain in which decreased performance after 1 year was observed (-0.25 Z-score, P = 0.025). In patients with significant decrease (≥0.5 SD) in memory performance (n = 20), significantly lower CD14CD16CD163 (% CD14CD16) (P = 0.038) and higher CD14CD38 (% CD14) (P = 0.030) levels were observed.


In virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients, the evolution of memory performance could be linked to the expression of certain peripheral activated M/M phenotypes. Such associations should be verified in larger populations over the long term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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