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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 478--480

HIV neuropathy in pre-HAART patients and it's correlation with risk factors in Central India

Department of Medicine, Gandhi Medical College and Hamidia Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Himanshu Sharma
Department of Medicine, Gandhi Medical College and Hamidia Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.121912

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Background: Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is the most common neurological complication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and often goes unrecognized. This ailment has a significant debilitating impact on the quality of life of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) is the most common PN in HIV infected patients. In India, although HIV has emerged as a public health menace, the burden of HIV-SN has not yet been well-defined. Materials and Methods: We used the Brief Peripheral Neuropathy Screening (BPNS) tool, validated by the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) and carried out a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of HIV-SN and its associated factors among highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) naive HIV patients. HIV-SN is defined as the presence of neuropathic symptoms and at least an abnormal perception of vibrations of a 128 Hz tuning fork on the great toe or abnormal ankle reflexes or both. Results: Out of 75 patients studied, 40% had clinical HIV-SN and nerve conduction study (NCS) confirmed its presence in all of them. In patients with neuropathy, the mean hemoglobin was 10.76 g/dl (P < 0.0001), mean serum albumin 2.7 g/dl (P < 0.001), mean body mass index (BMI) 17.18 kg/m 2 (P < 0.0001), and mean CD4 T-cell count was 497/μl; whereas, in patients not having neuropathy the same values were 12.81 g/dl, 3.64 g/dl, 20.22 kg/m 2 , and 678/μl, respectively. Patients recall and clinical chart review showed that, 40% had symptoms even prior to HAART initiation. Conclusions: HIV-SN is more common among pre-HAART patients with low level of hemoglobin, serum albumin, BMI, and CD4 T-cell count. Hence, it is found that neuropathy can be prevented by improving immune as well as nutritional status of HIV infected patients. So, BPNS, being a simple diagnostic tool should therefore be routinely applied to screen the neuropathy, to minimize the negative impact it has on the quality of life in patients with HIV infection.


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Online since 20th March '04
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