Autopsy-proven causes of death in HIV-infected patients treated for tuberculosis in Abidjan, Côte d'lvoire

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ObjectiveTo determine autopsy-proven causes of death in HIV-infected patients treated for tuberculosis in Abidjan, Côte d'lvoire.MethodsA computerized listing of 9523 patients diagnosed with tuberculosis, and tested for HIV infection at Abidjan's two large tuberculosis treatment centers from July 1989 to December 1991 was matched against a listing of 496 patients who were autopsied in Abidjan's largest public hospital in 1991–1992.ResultsFifteen matching patients were identified including 11 adults with smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis, three adults with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, and one child with smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis. The autopsy-proven causes of death among the adults were tuberculosis (n = 4), bacterial infections (n = 3), cerebral toxoplasmosis (n = 2), pulmonary nocardiosis (n = 2), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (n = 1), atypical mycobacteriosis (n = 1), and wasting syndrome (n = 1). Tuberculosis was the primary cause of death in two of five smear-positive patients who had not completed therapy, in none of the six patients with smear-positive disease who had completed therapy, and in two of the three patients with extrapulmonary tuberculosis.ConclusionsChemoprophylaxis with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) might have provided benefit to eight (57%) of the 14 adults in this series who died either of bacterial infections, toxoplasmosis, nocardiosis, or pneumocystosis. Prospective studies are required to elucidate further the causes of increased mortality, and to evaluate the benefits of TMP-SMX prophylaxis in HIV-infected African patients with tuberculosis.

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