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Haematological Indices of HIV Infected Antiretroviral-naïve Children in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Innocent Ocheyana George, Nsirimobu Ichendu Paul


AIM Even though haematological abnormalities are common manifestations of HIV infection, few studies on haematological parameters in HIV-infected children have been carried out in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to assess the haematological parameters in HIV-infected antiretroviral-naïve children attending the Infectious Disease Clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

METHODS A prospective cross-sectional study which was carried out in children aged 5 -16 years attending the Infectious Disease Clinic of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital over a two year period. The control population was HIV negative age and sex matched children. Haematological indices and CD4+ count were done at first visit as part of our routine workup. Patients were classified based on severity of their disease state in accordance with the WHO Clinical Staging of HIV/AIDS. The haematologic indices were estimated by automation and the CD4+ T lymphocytes were counted by flow cytometre. Antibodies to HIV were confirmed by two positive Rapid Diagnostic Test.A P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS One hundred and seven HIV infected antiretroviral naïve children were seen during this period. There were more females 66 (61.7%) than males 41 (38.3%). Most 52 (48.6%) of the mothers had secondary level of education while 35 (32.7%) and 20 (18.7%) had primary and tertiary levels of education respectively. The mean age was 7.4±1.34 years (range, 5-16 years). Haematological indices showed haematocrit of 26.98±0.70 (P=0.004); lymphocyte of 57.90±56 (P=0.13) and platelet of 86.95±16.59 (P=0.01). Most 79 (73.8%) of patients had moderate to severe immunosuppression. The mean CD4 count was 239.34±22.21 (P=0.01).

CONCLUSION This study has demonstrated that most children with HIV infection presented with significant anaemia, thrombocytopenia and moderate to severe immunosuppression


Haematological parameters; HIV; Children; Sub-Saharan Africa; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

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