The Presence of Either Typical or Atypical Radiological Changes Predicts Poor COVID-19 Outcomes in HIV-Positive Patients from a Multinational Observational Study: Data from Euroguidelines in Central and Eastern Europe Network Group

Viruses. 2022 May 5;14(5):972. doi: 10.3390/v14050972.


HIV-positive patients may present lungs with multiple infections, which may hinder differential diagnoses and the choice of treatment in the course of COVID-19, especially in countries with limited access to high-standard healthcare. Here, we aim to investigate the association between radiological changes and poor COVID-19 outcomes among HIV-positive patients from Central and Eastern Europe. Between November 2020 and May 2021, the Euroguidelines in Central and Eastern Europe Network Group started collecting observational data on HIV and COVID-19 co-infections. In total, 16 countries from Central and Eastern European submitted data (eCRF) on 557 HIV-positive patients. The current analyses included patients who had a radiological examination performed. Logistic regression models were used to identify the factors associated with death, ICU admission, and partial recovery (poor COVID-19 outcomes). Factors that were significant in the univariate models (p < 0.1) were included in the multivariate model. Radiological data were available for 224 (40.2%) patients, 108 (48.2%) had computed tomography, and 116 (51.8%) had a chest X-ray. Of these, 211 (94.2%) were diagnosed using RT-PCR tests, 212 (94.6%) were symptomatic, 123 (55.6%) were hospitalized, 37 (16.6%) required oxygen therapy, and 28 (13.1%) either died, were admitted to ICU, or only partially recovered. From the radiologist’s description, 138 (61.6%) patients had typical radiological changes, 18 (8.0%) atypical changes, and 68 (30.4%) no changes. In the univariate models, CD4 count (OR = 0.86 [95% CI: 0.76−0.98]), having a comorbidity (2.33 [1.43−3.80]), HCV and/or HBV co-infection (3.17 [1.32−7.60]), being currently employed (0.31 [0.13−0.70]), being on antiretroviral therapy (0.22 [0.08−0.63]), and having typical (3.90 [1.12−13.65]) or atypical (10.8 [2.23−52.5]) radiological changes were all significantly associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes. In the multivariate model, being on antiretroviral therapy (OR = 0.20 [95% CI:0.05−0.80]) decreased the odds of poor COVID-19 outcomes, while having a comorbidity (2.12 [1.20−3.72]) or either typical (4.23 [1.05−17.0]) or atypical (6.39 [1.03−39.7]) radiological changes (vs. no changes) increased the odds of poor COVID-19 outcomes. Among HIV patients diagnosed with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, the presence of either typical or atypical radiological COVID-19 changes independently predicted poorer outcomes.

Keywords: ARDS; COVID-19; ECEE; HIV; SARS-CoV-2; pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Europe, Eastern
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.