Cerebral toxoplasmosis in HIV-positive patients in Brazil: Clinical features and predictors of treatment response in the HAART era

Jose E. Vidal, Adrian V. Hernandez, Augusto C. Penalva De Oliveira, Rafi F. Dauar, Silas Pereira Barbosa, Roberto Focaccia

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69 Scopus citations

Abstract

A prospective study of 55 confirmed or presumptive cases of cerebral toxoplasmosis in HIV-positive patients in Brazil was performed to describe clinical characteristics and to identify predictive factors for clinical response to the anti-Toxoplasma treatment. Cerebral toxoplasmosis led to the diagnosis of HIV infection in 19 (35%) patients, whereas it was the AIDS-defining disease in 41 (75%) patients. Of these, 22 (54%) patients were previously know to be HIV-positive. At diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis, only 4 (7%) patients were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 6 (11%) were receiving primary cerebral toxoplasmosis prophylaxis. The mean CD4+ cell count was 64.2 (± 69.1) cells per microliter. Forty-nine patients (78%) showed alterations consistent with toxoplasmosis on brain computed tomography. At 6 weeks of treatment, 23 (42%) patients had complete clinical response, 25 (46%) partial response, and 7 (13%) died. Alteration of consciousness, Karnofsky score less than 70, psychomotor slowing, hemoglobin less than 12 mg/dL, mental confusion, Glasgow Coma Scale less than 12 were the main predictors of partial clinical response. All patients were placed on HAART within the first 4 weeks of diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis. One year after the diagnosis, all available patients were on HAART and toxoplasmosis prophylaxis, and only 2 patients had relapse of cerebral toxoplasmosis. In Brazilian patients with AIDS, cerebral toxoplasmosis mainly occurs as an AIDS-defining disease, and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Signs of neurologic deterioration predict an unfavorable response to the treatment. Early start of HAART seems to be related to better survival and less relapses. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

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