The prevalence and clinical profile of adrenocortical deficiency among HIV infected persons in Northern Nigeria
Background: Infection with the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) is still a prevalent problem in Africa.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypocortisolism among patients with HIV and their clinical profile at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, Nigeria.
Method: Three hundred and fifty adult patients with HIV infection were recruited from the HIV clinic of AKTH, Kano. Blood samples for serum electrolytes, and cortisol both before and after the short Synacthen test were taken for estimation. Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 20.0 software.
Results: One hundred and eight (30.9%) of participants had low baseline serum cortisol levels, while 57 (16.3%) had a low serum cortisol after short synacthen test. There was no significant relationship between the cortisol levels and clinical features of hypocortisolism, WHO clinical stage of HIV, hypernatremia or HAART regimen. There was a negative correlation between the stimulated serum cortisol and duration of diagnosis of HIV, participants BMI and CD4 counts.
Conclusion: The biochemical evidence of hypocortisolism was common among patients infected with HIV, associated with a longer duration of HIV infection. However, none of CD4 counts, clinical features or HAART regimen were associated with hypocortisolism.
Keywords: Hypocortisolism, HIV infection, short Synacthen test.