BACKGROUND: To evaluate the use of quantitative and functional immunologic parameters as prognostic markers of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). METHODS: The number of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, the CD4/CD8 ratio, the percentage of interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptors, the response to phytohemaglutinin (PHA) and the production of interferon tau (IFN-tau), were analyzed in 85 patients with HIV infection: 14 with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (stage IV), 16 with persistent generalized adenopathies (stage III), and 55 asymptomatic patients (stage II). Similarly, a control group of 35 blood donors with negative HIV serology was studied. RESULTS: Over a period of 30 months, 17 patients (5 of stage III and 12 of stage II) evolved to stage IV. In a multivariate analysis the decrease in the number of CD4 lymphocytes in stage II and the decrease in the production of IFN-tau in stage II and III were the parameters associated with progression to stage IV. CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in the production of interferon tau in patients with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus in stage II and III as well as the decrease in the number of CD4 lymphocytes in stage II are prognostic factors associated with the evolution to stage IV of the infection.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1992|