Growth as a prognostic indicator in children with human immunodeficiency virus infection treated with zidovudine. AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 043 Study Group.
OBJECTIVE: To assess measures of growth as prognostic indicators in response to zidovudine treatment in children with symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infection. METHODS: We retrospectively assessed data from AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 043, an open-label, phase II study of oral zidovudine therapy (180 mg/m2 per dose every 6 hours) in children with human immunodeficiency virus who have severe symptoms. Several variables were evaluated for their prognostic significance: CD4+ lymphocyte percentage; rates of weight gain and linear growth; entry weight, height, and weight-for-height z scores for age; race; gender; age; and route of transmission. RESULTS: The overall survival rate as of April 1, 1992 (4 years after study initiation), was 44%, with a median survival of 37.9 months. The risk of death was greatest in children with CD4+ lymphocyte percentages < 20% (relative risk, 3.49), but was also increased in children who had a weight-for-age z score < -2 on entry to the study (relative risk, 1.53) and in those who failed to gain weight at the 25th percentile rate or greater during the first 6 months of therapy (relative risk, 2.03). These three factors, as well as race and gender, were found to be significant predictors in a multivariate, proportional-hazards model of survival. Entry height-for-age and height growth rates did not have predictive value for survival in univariate or multivariate analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Weight-for-age and rate of weight gain are important, easily obtained, and inexpensive prognostic indicators in children with symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus treated with zidovudine. Both were less predictive of survival than the entry CD4+ lymphocyte percentage.
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