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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 289-293

Is total lymphocyte count a predictor for CD4 cell count in initiation antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients?


1 Department of Pathology; Division of Pathology, Imam Hospital Complex, Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Division of Pathology, Imam Hospital Complex, Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Division of Infectious Diseases, Imam Hospital Complex, Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Alireza Abdollahi
Associate Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, Imam Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.137187

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Background: Since laboratory assessments of HIV-infected patients by flow cytometric methods are expensive and unavailable in resource-limited countries, total lymphocyte count by haematology cell counter is supposed to be a suitable surrogate marker to initiate and monitor course of the disease in these patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of total lymphocyte count as a surrogate marker for CD4 count in HIV-infected patients. Patients and Methods: In a prospective study 560 HIV-positive individuals evaluated for total and CD4 lymphocyte count. For correlation between CD4 count and total lymphocyte count, haemoglobin and haematocrit we defined cut-off values as 200 cell/μl, 1200 cell/μl, 12 gr/dl and 30%, respectively, and compared CD4 count with each parameter separately. Positive predictive value, negative predictive value, sensitivity and specificity of varying total lymphocyte count cutoffs were computed for CD4 count ≤ 200 cell/μl and ≤ 350 cell/μl. Results: Strong degree of correlation was noted between CD4 and total lymphocyte count (r: 0.610, P < 0.001). Mean and standard deviation of total lymphocyte count, haemoglobin and haematocrit in relation to CD4 count were calculated which indicated significant correlation between these variables. Kappa coefficient for agreement was also calculated which showed fair correlation between CD4 200 cell/μl and total lymphocyte count 1200 cell/μl ( 0.35). Conclusion: This study reveals that despite low sensitivity and specificity of total lymphocyte count as a surrogate marker for CD4, total lymphocyte count is of great importance and benefit in resource-limited settings.


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