Clinical and Laboratory Predictors of Articular Disorders Among HIV‑infected Patients Seen at Teaching Hospital Southeast Nigeria

Author(s): Okwara CC*, Ozoh G and Nwatu BC

Background: HIV infection may be associated with different arthropathies that are often underdiagnosed. There is also paucity of reported studies of relationship between clinical and laboratory features of HIV‑infected patients and articular disorders. Aims: To determine the predictors of articular disorders among HIV‑infected patients seen at tertiary hospital Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: Hospital‑based cross‑sectional descriptive study. Subjects were recruited from outpatient clinics of the study centers. Persons aged 16 years and above were recruited via stratified sampling method. Subjects with trauma, degenerative arthritis, malignancy, hepatitis B surface antigen and anti‑hepatitis C virus positivity or previously known to have pulmonary tuberculosis or rheumatological disorders were excluded. Pretest‑improved semi‑structured questionnaire was administered to the recruited 480 subjects comprising 240 HIV positive subjects (HPS) and 240 HIV‑negative subjects (HNS). Blood for relevant laboratory tests and radiographs were done where necessary. Diagnosis of articular disorder was based on American College of Rheumatology and European Spondyloarthropathy Study Group classification guidelines. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 15 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for data entry, validation, and analysis. Results: Of the 480 participants, both HPS and HNS were made up of 95 males and 145 females. There was statistically significant difference between the frequency of occurrence of articular disorders among the HPS of 37.1% (89/240) and the HIV‑negative controls of 16.2% (39/240) (2 = 26.63 P = <0.01). Arthralgia frequency of 29.6% (71/240), HIV‑associated arthritis 4.6%, (11/240) (Reiter’s disease 1.3% (3/240), undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy 1.3%, (3/240) and gout 0.4% (1/240) (were seen among the HPS. Only arthralgia was found among HNS. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and age were the best predictors of arthralgia presence. CD4+ T‑cell count was predictive of HIV‑associated arthritis. Conclusions: Articular disorders are commoner among HIV patients than HNS. ESR and age were the best predictors of Arthralgia presence among HIV‑infected patients. CD4+ T‑cell count was predictive of HIV‑associated arthritis.


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