Author(s): Cardillo M, Hagan R, Abadi J, Abadi MA, Cardillo M, Hagan R, Abadi J, Abadi MA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Recent studies have reported an increased incidence of squamous intraepithelial lesions in women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, to the authors' knowledge there are scarce data regarding the relation between the CD4 T-lymphocyte count (CD4+), HIV viral load, and the development of cervical dysplasia as evidenced by cervicovaginal cytology. The objective of the current study was to examine the association between cervicovaginal smears (with and without squamous lesions) from HIV-infected women and their CD4+ counts and HIV viral load. METHODS: Two hundred ninety-six cervicovaginal smears from 108 HIV-infected women were reviewed and classified according to the Bethesda system. Abnormal cytologies (n = 74) were followed by colposcopy and/or biopsy. CD4+ counts and HIV viral loads were available at the time of the cytologic evaluation. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student t test and the Mann-Whitney U test. RESULTS: The control group (n = 222) had significantly higher CD4+ counts (378 vs. 246 cells/microL; P < 0.001) compared with the group with cervical lesions. There was no apparent difference between the CD4+ counts from women with low grade lesions and those from women with high grade lesions. The HIV viral load was significantly higher in patients with cytologic abnormalities than in those with negative Papanicolaou smears (P = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: The degree of immunosuppression may contribute to the development of intraepithelial lesions in HIV-positive women, but once the lesion is established disease progression may not be affected by the CD4+ counts.
This article was published in Cancer
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research