Atul Vijayrao Rajkondawar1, Vinayak Rodge2
HIV infection can be monitored by laboratory and clinical markers of disease progression. In the absence of CD4 count, the use of total lymphocyte count has been advocated to predict CD4 count and to stage HIV disease. The present study was undertaken to determine whether the TLC accurately predicts the CD4 count in HIV positive patient and its clinical correlation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A total of 100 HIV positive patients of age less than 12 years and who were attended ART clinic/outpatients and inpatients at tertiary care hospital were included in the study and were subjected to clinical examination and relevant investigations including CD4 count and TLC.
In current study, males (79) outnumbered females (21). The commonest mode of transmission of HIV in males was unprotected multiple heterosexual contacts, whereas in females, majority of them contracted the infection from their spouses. Fever, anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, cough, diarrhea, malaise and mouth ulcers were most common clinical presentations. TB, chronic diarrhea and oropharyngeal candidiasis were commonest opportunistic infections. Majority of the patients with opportunistic infections had a CD4 count less than 350 cells/μL. Total lymphocyte counts of 1768 cells/μL and 2354 cells/μL correlated to CD4 counts of 200 cells/μL and 350 cells/μL, respectively.
There was a highly significant correlation between CD4 count and total lymphocyte count. CD4 counts are the gold standard in assessment of disease progression in HIV infected persons, total lymphocyte count can be used as a surrogate marker in resource poor countries.