Introduction: Peripheral neuropathy is the most common neurological complication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection but is widely under-diagnosed in resource-limited settings. We investigated the utility of screening tools administered by nonphysician healthcare workers (HCW) and quantitative sensory testing (QST) administered by trained individuals for identification of moderate/severe neuropathy.
Methods: We enrolled 240 HIV-infected outpatients using 2-stage cluster randomized sampling. HCWs administered the several screening tools. Trained study staff performed QST. Tools were validated against a clinical diagnosis of neuropathy.
Results: Participants were 65% women, mean age 36.4 years, median CD4 324 cells/μL. A total of 65% were taking antiretrovirals, and 18% had moderate/severe neuropathy. The screening tests were 76% sensitive in diagnosing moderate/severe neuropathy with negative predictive values of 84-92%. QST was less sensitive but more specific.
Conclusions: Screening tests administered by HCW have excellent negative predictive values and are promising tools for scale-up in resource-limited settings. QST shows promise for research use.
Keywords: HIV; developing countries; peripheral nervous system diseases; screening tools; sensitivity and specificity.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.