Introduction: Latent HIV reservoirs are rapidly established in lymphoid tissues during acute HIV infection (AHI). Sampling these tissues provides important information about HIV pathogenesis. This period is associated with viral replication and immune activation that may affect procedure-related adverse events (AEs). We examined the safety and tolerability of inguinal lymph node (LN) biopsy in research participants with AHI in Bangkok, Thailand.
Methods: Between 2013 and 2016, 67 AHI participants in the RV254/SEARCH010 study underwent at least one optional inguinal LN biopsy during AHI at the baseline visit and/or after antiretroviral therapy (median 48 weeks after antiretroviral therapy). Biopsy-related AEs were graded according to NIH Division of AIDS guidelines. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals to evaluate associations of demographic and HIV characteristics, procedure timing, and repetition with AE incidence.
Results: Of the 67 participants, 97% were male with a median age of 26. Among 78 LN biopsies (39 at baseline and 39 at follow-up), 10 (12.8%) AEs were reported: 6 (7.7%) grade 1 and 4 (5.1%) grade 2. The AEs were biopsy-site discomfort (n = 8, 10.2%) and hematoma (n = 2, 2.6%). No factors were significantly associated with AE incidence. All biopsy-related AEs were transient and self-limited.
Conclusions: Inguinal LN biopsies were safe and well tolerated in mostly Thai men with AHI. As LN biopsies become an integral part of HIV research, this study provides information to participants, researchers, and institutional review boards that these samples can be safely obtained.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00796146.