A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the use of prednisolone as an adjunct to treatment in HIV-1-associated pleural tuberculosis

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Elliott AM, Luzze H, Quigley MA, Nakiyingi JS, Kyaligonza S, Namujju PB, Ducar C, Ellner JJ, Whitworth JAG, Mugerwa R, Johnson JL and Okwera A

BACKGROUND:
Active tuberculosis may accelerate progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection by promoting viral replication in activated lymphocytes. Glucocorticoids are used in pleural tuberculosis to reduce inflammation-induced pathology, and their use also might reduce progression of HIV by suppressing immune activation. We examined the effect that prednisolone has on survival in HIV-1-associated pleural tuberculosis.

METHODS:
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of prednisolone as an adjunct to tuberculosis treatment, in adults with HIV-1-associated pleural tuberculosis. The primary outcome was death. Analysis was by intention to treat.

RESULTS:
Of 197 participants, 99 were assigned to the prednisolone group and 98 to the placebo group. The mortality rate was 21 deaths/100 person-years (pyr) in the prednisolone group and 25 deaths/100 pyr in the placebo group (age-, sex-, and initial CD4+ T cell count-adjusted mortality rate ratio, 0.99 [95% confidence interval, 0.62-1.56] [P =.95]). Resolution of tuberculosis was faster in the prednisolone group, but recurrence rates were slightly (though not significantly) higher, and use of prednisolone was associated with a significantly higher incidence of Kaposi sarcoma (4.2 cases/100 pyr, compared with 0 cases/100 pyr [P =.02]).

CONCLUSIONS:
In view of the lack of survival benefit and the increased risk of Kaposi sarcoma, the use of prednisolone in HIV-associated tuberculous pleurisy is not recommended.

Publisher: 
Journal of Infectious Diseases
MRC/UVRI Authors: