Send to

Choose Destination
Chest. 1998 Feb;113(2):430-3.

CD4 lymphocyte counts and mortality in AIDS patients requiring mechanical ventilator support due to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

Author information

University of Miami School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, FL 33140, USA.



To evaluate CD4 counts as a predictor of mortality in AIDS patients with respiratory failure due to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).


Retrospective chart review.


Urban university medical center.


Forty-eight patients admitted to the medical ICU from January 1993 to August 1996 with diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, PCP, CD4 count <200 cells per cubic millimeter, who required mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure.


Medical records were reviewed and age, CD4 count, lactate dehydrogenase, room air (RA) PaO2, coinfections, and day of admission to day of intubation (DOA-DOI) data were recorded.


All 48 patients (12 women and 36 men) were treated with corticosteroids and IV trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Age ranged from 21 to 65 years; CD4, 1 to 180, RA PaO2, 27 to 93 mm Hg; and DOA-DOI, 0 to 20 days. Mortality varied significantly depending on CD4 counts: CD4 0 to 10 (100%); CD4 11 to 50 (88%); CD4 51 to 100 (50%); and CD4 >100 (25%). There were no significant difference in mortality between the groups with DOA-DOI <5 days (82%) vs >5 days (80%) or between the groups with PaO2 <60 mm Hg (85%) vs PaO2 >60 mm Hg (73%).


Even though overall mortality was 81%, the mortality rate was significantly different among the four groups. Most striking was the progressive increase in mortality as CD4 cells decreased from >100 (25% mortality) to <10 (100% mortality). Survivors had significantly higher CD4 cell counts than those who died. The CD4 cell count within 2 weeks of admission has significant prognostic value and may be helpful when counseling patients, families, and healthcare surrogates in end-of-life decision making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center