Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and exposure to antiretroviral therapy. Mitochondrial dysfunction has not been widely studied in HIV-infected children. We estimated the incidence of clinically defined mitochondrial dysfunction among children with perinatal HIV infection.
Methods: Children with perinatal HIV infection enrolled in a prospective cohort study (Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocols 219 and 219C) from 1993 through 2004 were included. Two clinical case definitions of mitochondrial dysfunction, the Enquête Périnatale Française criteria and the Mitochondrial Disease Classification criteria, were used to classify signs and symptoms that were consistent with possible mitochondrial dysfunction. Adjusted odds ratios of the associations between single and dual nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor use and possible mitochondrial dysfunction were estimated using logistic regression.
Results: Overall, 982 (33.5%) of 2931 children met 1 or both case definitions of possible mitochondrial dysfunction. Mortality was highest among the 96 children who met both case definitions (20%). After adjusting for confounders, there was a higher risk of possible mitochondrial dysfunction among children who received stavudine regardless of exposure to other medications (odds ratio, 3.44 [95% confidence interval, 1.91-6.20]) or who received stavudine-didanosine combination therapy (odds ratio, 2.23 [95% confidence interval, 1.19-4.21]). Exposure to lamivudine and to lamivudine-stavudine were also associated with an increased risk of mitochondrial dysfunction.
Conclusions: Receipt of nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, especially stavudine and lamivudine, was associated with possible mitochondrial dysfunction in children with perinatal HIV infection. Further studies are warranted to elucidate potential mechanisms of nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor toxicities.