Renal function in a cohort of HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in an outpatient setting in Ethiopia

Temesgen Fiseha, Angesom Gebreweld
PloS One 2021, 16 (1): e0245500

AIM: To evaluate the prevalence and associated factors of abnormal renal function among Ethiopian HIV-infected patients at baseline prior to initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and during follow-up.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study of HIV infected patients who initiated ART at the outpatient ART clinic of Mehal Meda Hospital of North Shewa, Ethiopia from January 2012 to August 2018. Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from the medical records of patients. Renal function was assessed by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. Univariate and multivariate analysis were conducted to determine the factors associated with abnormal renal function at baseline and during follow-up.

RESULTS: Among 353 patients, 70 (19.8%) had baseline eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2 and 102 (28.9%) had eGFR = 60-89.9 ml/min/1.73m2. Factors associated with baseline renal impairment (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2) included female sex (AOR = 3.52, CI 1.75-7.09), CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3 (AOR = 2.75, CI 1.40-5.42), BMI < 25 Kg/m2 (AOR = 3.04, CI 1.15-8.92), low hemoglobin (AOR = 2.19, CI 1.16-4.09) and high total cholesterol (AOR = 3.15, CI 1.68-5.92). After a median of 3.0 years of ART, the mean eGFR declined from 112.9 ± 81.2 ml/min/1.73m2 at baseline to 93.9 ± 60.6 ml/min/1.73m2 (P < 0.001). The prevalence of renal impairment increased from 19.8% at baseline to 22.1% during follow-up. Of 181 patients with baseline normal renal function, 49.7% experienced some degree of renal impairment. Older age (AOR = 3.85, 95% CI 2.03-7.31), female sex (AOR = 4.18, 95% CI 2.08-8.40), low baseline CD4 (AOR = 2.41, 95% CI 1.24-4.69), low current CD4 count (AOR = 2.32, 95% CI 1.15-4.68), high BMI (AOR = 2.91, 95% CI 1.49-5.71), and low hemoglobin (AOR = 3.38, 95% CI 2.00-7.46) were the factors associated with renal impairment during follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Impaired renal function was common in HIV-infected patients initiating ART in an outpatient setting in Ethiopia, and there appears to be a high prevalence of renal impairment after a median ART follow-up of 3 years. There is a need for assessment of renal function at baseline before ART initiation and regular monitoring of renal function for patients with HIV during follow-up.

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