Pan African Medical Journal

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Abnormal coagulation profile in people living with HIV-AIDS on combined Antiretroviral Therapy: findings from a case-control study in the Ho municipality, Ghana

Richard Kobina Dadzie Ephraim, James Elikem Ahadzie, Patrick Adu, Joseph Boachie, Hope Agbodzakey, Prince Adoba, Obed Cudjoe


Introduction: Although combined Anti-Retroviral Therapy (cART) has improved the quality of life and survival in people living with HIV-AIDS (PLWHA), there have been reports of increased non-AIDS related co-morbidities such as coagulopathies. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of cART on the coagulation profile of PLWHA. Methods: This case-control study recruited 110 PLWHA (65 patients on cART, and 45 cART naïve patients) from the antiretroviral therapy unit of Volta Regional Hospital, Ho. Blood was collected for prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT)and platelet count. Results: cART naïve individuals had a high PT (p <0.001; 17.2 vs 13.8) and APTT (p = 0.081; 59.7 vs 55.3) compared to their counterparts on cART. Also, INR was significantly lower in cART-treated PLWHA (p<0.001). Platelet count was high in participants on therapy compared to their naïve counterparts (204.7 vs 193.6, p = 0.402). Patients on zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz therapy had a significantly lower PT compared to those on zidovudine + lamivudine + efavirenz therapy {p = 0.02, 13.23 vs 14.66}. Additionally, PLWHA on zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz had reduced APTT compared to those on zidovudine + lamivudine + efavirenz therapy, or zidovudine + lamivudine+ nevirapine therapy (p = 0.058; 47.55 vs 56.81 vs 56.85 respectively). Conclusion: HIV infection adversely affects the coagulation profile in PLWHA which improves with cART. Barring the existence of other comorbidities, cART with zidovudine + nevirapin + efavirenz combination could be the treatment of choice as it significantly improves the coagulation profile in PLWHA.

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