Role of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex infection in AIDS mortality

Edward Alex Graviss, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Disseminated MAC (dMAC) is the third most prevalent opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. In order to understand the role MAC infection plays in affecting survival of AIDS patients, a cohort of 203 suspected dMAC veterans seen at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center between August 14, 1987 and December 31, 1991 were analyzed. The criteria for suspected dMAC infection was HIV+ men having a CD4+ level $\le$200 cells/mm$\sp3,$ on zidovudine treatment $\ge$1 month and who had any of the following: (a) a confirmed respiratory MAC infection, (b) fever $\ge$101$\sp\circ\rm F$ for $\ge$48 hours, (c) unexplained weight loss of 10 lbs or $\ge$10% BW over 3 months or (d) Hgb $\le$7.5 g/dl or decrease in Hgb $\ge$3.0 g/dl, while on 500-600 mg/day AZT. The study was conducted before the commencement of an effective MAC anti-mycobacterial therapy, so the true course of MAC infection was seen without the confounder of a therapeutic regimen. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression survival analysis was used to compare 45 MAC culture positive and 118 MAC culture negative veterans. The 1 year survival rate of veterans with documented dMAC infection was 0.37 compared to 0.50 for veterans not acquiring dMAC infection. Significant differences between subgroups were also seen with the variables: PCP prophylaxis, the AIDS indicator disease Candida esophagitis, CD4+ lymphocyte level, CD4 percent lymphocyte level, WBC level, Hgb and Hct levels. Using multivariate modeling, it was determined that PCP prophylaxis (RR = 6.12, CI 2.24-16.68) was a predictor of survival and both CD4% lymphocytes $\le$6.0% (RR = 0.33, CI 0.17-0.68) and WBC level $\le$3000 cells/mm$\sp3$ (RR = 0.60, CI 0.39-0.93) were predictors of mortality. CD4+ level $\le$50 cells/mm$\sp3$ was not a significant predictor of mortality. Although MAC culture status was a significant predictor of mortality in the univariate model, a positive dMAC culture was not a significant predictor of AIDS mortality in the multivariate model. A positive dMAC culture, however, did affect mortality in a stratified analysis when baseline laboratory values were: CD8+ lymphocytes $>$600 cells/mm$\sp3,$ Hgb $>$11.0 g/dl, Hct $>$31.0% and WBC level $>$3000 cells/mm$\sp3.$

Subject Area

Public health|Surgery

Recommended Citation

Graviss, Edward Alex, "Role of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex infection in AIDS mortality" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9422045.