A Clinical Algorithm to Identify HIV Patients at High Risk for Incident Active Tuberculosis: A Prospective 5-Year Cohort Study.

PloS one

PubMedID: 26280669

Lee SS, Lin HH, Tsai HC, Su IJ, Yang CH, Sun HY, Hung CC, Sy CL, Wu KS, Chen JK, Chen YS, Fang CT. A Clinical Algorithm to Identify HIV Patients at High Risk for Incident Active Tuberculosis: A Prospective 5-Year Cohort Study. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(8):e0135801.
BACKGROUND
Predicting the risk of tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV (PLHIV) using a single test is currently not possible. We aimed to develop and validate a clinical algorithm, using baseline CD4 cell counts, HIV viral load (pVL), and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA), to identify PLHIV who are at high risk for incident active TB in low-to-moderate TB burden settings where highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is routinely provided.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
A prospective, 5-year, cohort study of adult PLHIV was conducted from 2006 to 2012 in two hospitals in Taiwan. HAART was initiated based on contemporary guidelines (CD4 count < = 350/µL). Cox regression was used to identify the predictors of active TB and to construct the algorithm. The validation cohorts included 1455 HIV-infected individuals from previous published studies. Area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated.

RESULTS
Seventeen of 772 participants developed active TB during a median follow-up period of 5.21 years. Baseline CD4 < 350/µL or pVL = 100,000/mL was a predictor of active TB (adjusted HR 4.87, 95% CI 1.49-15.90, P = 0.009). A positive baseline IGRA predicted TB in patients with baseline CD4 = 350/µL and pVL < 100,000/mL (adjusted HR 6.09, 95% CI 1.52-24.40, P = 0.01). Compared with an IGRA-alone strategy, the algorithm improved the sensitivity from 37.5% to 76.5%, the negative predictive value from 98.5% to 99.2%. Compared with an untargeted strategy, the algorithm spared 468 (60.6%) from unnecessary TB preventive treatment. Area under the ROC curve was 0.692 (95% CI: 0.587-0.798) for the study cohort and 0.792 (95% CI: 0.776-0.808) and 0.766 in the 2 validation cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS
A validated algorithm incorporating the baseline CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, and IGRA status can be used to guide targeted TB preventive treatment in PLHIV in low-to-moderate TB burden settings where HAART is routinely provided to all PLHIV. The implementation of this algorithm will avoid unnecessary exposure of low-risk patients to drug toxicity and simultaneously, reduce the burden of universal treatment on the healthcare system.