Effect of antiretroviral therapy on admissions of HIV-infected patients to an intensive care unit

HIV Med. 2006 Apr;7(3):193-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2006.00353.x.


Objectives: To analyse the characteristics of HIV-infected patients admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and to compare them in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HAART eras.

Methods: All HIV-infected patients who were admitted to the ICU of our hospital between January 1990 and December 2003 were reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether they were admitted before or after the advent of HAART, the cut-off date being 31 December 1996.

Results: Data were collected on 66 patients, 17 in the pre-HAART and 49 in the HAART era. The proportion of HIV-infected patients admitted to the ICU in our HIV-infected population increased after the introduction of HAART (3.8 vs 0.5%; P=0.001), and the largest diagnostic group was respiratory pathology in both periods. More than a third of patients were diagnosed with HIV infection during the ICU income, and only 31.2% were on antiretroviral therapy. The in-hospital mortality was 53.0%, and later survival was high. There were no significant differences between the pre-HAART and HAART eras.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the characteristics of HIV-infected patients admitted to ICU have not changed: respiratory diseases are still the most frequent cause of admission, in-hospital mortality is high, and later survival rates are good.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / mortality
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / mortality
  • HIV-1*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / virology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spain
  • Survival Analysis


  • Anti-HIV Agents