Appendectomy in patients with human immunodeficiency virus: Not as bad as we once thought

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The number of patients living with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is growing due to advances in antiretroviral therapy. Existing literature on appendectomy within this patient population has been limited by small sample sizes. Therefore, we used a large, multiyear, nationwide database to study this topic comprehensively.


Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we identified 338,805 patients between 2005 and 2012 who underwent laparoscopic or open appendectomy for acute appendicitis. Interval appendectomies were excluded. We used multivariable adjusted regression models to test differences between patients with human immunodeficiency virus without acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and a reference group, as well as human immunodeficiency virus with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and a reference group, with regard to duration of stay, hospital charges, in-hospital complications, and in-hospital mortality. Models were adjusted for patient age, sex, race, insurance, socioeconomic status, Elixhauser comorbidity score, and appendix perforation.


There were 1,291 (0.38%) patients with human immunodeficiency virus, among which 497 (0.15%) patients had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In regression analysis, human immunodeficiency virus alone was not associated with adverse outcomes, while acquired immunodeficiency syndrome alone was associated with longer duration of stay (incidence rate ratio 1.40 [1.37–1.57 95% confidence interval], P < .0001), increased total charges (exponentiated coefficient 1.16 [1.10–1.23 95% confidence interval], P < .0001), and increased risk of postoperative infection (odds ratio 2.12 [1.44–3.13 95% confidence interval], P = .0002).


Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who undergo appendectomy for acute appendicitis are subject to longer and more expensive hospital admissions and have greater rates of postoperative infections while patients with human immunodeficiency virus alone are not at risk for adverse outcomes.

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