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Monocyte to lymphocyte ratio and hemoglobin level to predict tuberculosis after antiretroviral therapy initiation.

AIDS 2023 September 12
OBJECTIVE: To determine the performance of the baseline monocyte to lymphocyte ratio (MLR), baseline anemia severity and combination of these biomarkers, to predict tuberculosis (TB) incidence in people with HIV (PWH) after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation.

DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study.

METHODS: We utilized the data from study A5175 (Prospective Evaluation of Anti-retroviral Therapy in Resource-limited Settings: PEARLS). We assessed the utility of MLR, anemia severity and in combination, for predicting TB in the first year after ART. Cox regression was used to assess associations of MLR and anemia with incident TB. Harrell's C index was used to describe single model discrimination.

RESULTS: Total of 1,455 participants with a median age of 34(IQR 29, 41) were included. Fifty-four participants were diagnosed with TB. The hazard ratio (HR) for incident TB was 1.77 (95% confidence interval (CI); 1.01-3.07); p = 0.04 for those with MLR ≥0.23. The HR for mild/mod anemia was 3.35 (95%CI; 1.78-6.29; p < 0.001) and 18.16 (95%CI; 5.17-63.77; p < 0.001) for severe anemia. After combining parameters, there were increases in adjusted HR (aHR) for MLR ≥0.23 to 1.83(95%CI; 1.05-3.18), and degrees of anemia to 3.38 (95%CI; 1.80-6.35) for mild/mod anemia and 19.09 (95%CI; 5.43-67.12) for severe anemia.

CONCLUSIONS: MLR and hemoglobin levels which are available in routine HIV care can be used at ART initiation for identifying patients at high risk of developing TB disease to guide diagnostic and management decisions.

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