JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Natural history of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection in AIDS.

This study sought to better characterize the natural history of AIDS-associated disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection. Towards that end two retrospective studies were done: a case-control survival study and a MAC respiratory colonization study. Among 137 consecutive patients who had a sterile body site cultured for mycobacteria within 3 months of their first AIDS-defining episode of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, median survival was significantly shorter in those with disseminated MAC infection (107 days; 95% confidence interval [CI] 55-179) than those with negative cultures (275 days; 95% CI 230-318; P less than .01), even after controlling for age, absolute lymphocyte count, and hemoglobin concentration. Among 34 patients with AIDS and respiratory MAC colonization, 22 later developed disseminated infection (65% predictive value for subsequent MAC dissemination). Disseminated MAC infection was associated with significantly shorter survival for patients with AIDS, and the presence of MAC in respiratory specimens has substantial predictive value for subsequent disseminated infection.

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