Objectives: To investigate the association between Kaposi's sarcoma-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (KS-IRIS) and mortality, with the use of glucocorticoids in HIV-infected individuals.
Design: Case-control study.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 145 individuals with HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma receiving antiretroviral therapy. The association of different variables with KS-IRIS and Kaposi's sarcoma-related mortality was explored by univariate and multivariate analyses. The main exposure of interest was the use of glucocorticoids. We also compared the time to KS-IRIS and the time to death of individuals treated with glucocorticoids vs. those nontreated with glucocorticoids, and the time to death of individuals with KS-IRIS vs. those without KS-IRIS by hazards regression.
Results: Sixty of 145 individuals received glucocorticoids (41.4%) for the management or suspicion of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. Fifty individuals had KS-IRIS (37%). The use of glucocorticoids was more frequent in individuals with KS-IRIS than in those without KS-IRIS (54.9 vs. 36.47%, P = 0.047). Kaposi's sarcoma-related mortality occurred in 17 cases (11.7%), and glucocorticoid use was more frequent in this group (76.47 vs. 36.7%, P = 0.003). Glucocorticoid use was a risk factor for mortality (adjusted odds ratio = 4.719, 95% confidence interval = 1.383-16.103, P = 0.0132), and was associated with shorter periods to KS-IRIS (P = 0.03) and death (P = 0.0073). KS-IRIS was a risk factor for mortality (P = 0.049).
Conclusion: In HIV-infected individuals, the use of glucocorticoids is a risk factor for KS-IRIS and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated mortality. In addition, KS-IRIS is a risk factor for mortality. Therefore, glucocorticoid administration in this population requires careful consideration based on individualized risk-benefit analysis.