Urine Lipoarabinomannan Testing in Adults With Advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus in a Trial of Empiric Tuberculosis Therapy

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 16;73(4):e870-e877. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab179.


Background: The urine lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen test is a tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic test with highest sensitivity in individuals with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Its role in TB diagnostic algorithms for HIV-positive outpatients remains unclear.

Methods: The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) A5274 trial demonstrated that empiric TB therapy did not improve 24-week survival compared to isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) in TB screen-negative HIV-positive adults initiating antiretroviral therapy with CD4 counts <50 cells/µL. Retrospective LAM testing was performed on stored urine obtained at baseline. We determined the proportion of LAM-positive participants and conducted modified intent-to-treat analysis excluding LAM-positive participants to determine the effect on 24-week survival, TB incidence, and time to TB using Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A5274 enrolled 850 participants; 53% were male and the median CD4 count was 18 (interquartile range, 9-32) cells/µL. Of the 850, 566 (67%) had LAM testing (283 per arm); 28 (5%) were positive (21 [7%] and 7 [2%] in the empiric and IPT arms, respectively). Of those LAM-positive, 1 participant in each arm died and 5 of 21 and 0 of 7 in empiric and IPT arms, respectively, developed TB. After excluding these 28 cases, there were 19 and 21 deaths in the empiric and IPT arms, respectively (P = .88). TB incidence remained higher (4.6% vs 2%, P = .04) and time to TB remained faster in the empiric arm (P = .04).

Conclusions: Among outpatients with advanced HIV who screened negative for TB by clinical symptoms, microscopy, and Xpert testing, LAM testing identified an additional 5% of individuals with TB. Positive LAM results did not change mortality or TB incidence.

Keywords: advanced HIV disease; empiric TB therapy; isoniazid preventive therapy; tuberculosis; urine LAM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Male
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / drug therapy


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • lipoarabinomannan