Poor long-term outcomes for cryptococcal meningitis in rural South Africa
AbstractObjectives. To explore linkage to and retention in HIV care after an episode of cryptococcal meningitis (CM) in rural South Africa. Design. A retrospective case series of adult individuals (≥16 years old) with laboratory-confirmed CM from January - December 2007 at Hlabisa Hospital – a district hospital in northern KwaZulu- Natal. Outcome measures. Inpatient mortality and associated risk factors were analysed. The proportion alive and on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at 2 years was determined by linkage to the HIV treatment programme. Results. One hundred and four individuals were identified with laboratory diagnosis of CM; 74/104 (71.2%) with complete records were included in the analysis. Inpatient mortality was high (40.5%) and was significantly associated with reduced conscious level (aHR 3.09, 95% CI 1.30 - 7.33) and absence of headache (aHR 0.33 for headache, 95% CI 0.13 - 0.87). Only 8 individuals (10.8% of all study subjects) were alive and receiving ART 2 years after the CM episode. Conclusions. Long-term outcomes of CM are poor in routine practice. Interventions to strengthen linkage to HIV treatment and care and continuation of secondary fluconazole prophylaxis are critical.
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