Objectives: Anaemia represents a common toxicity with amphotericin B-based induction therapy in HIV-infected persons with cryptococcal meningitis. We sought to examine the impact of amphotericin-related anaemia on survival. Methods: We used data from Ugandan and South African trial participants to characterize the variation of haemoglobin concentrations from diagnosis to 12 weeks post-diagnosis. Anaemia severity was classified based on the haemoglobin concentration at cryptococcal meningitis diagnosis, and nadir haemoglobin values during amphotericin induction. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate 2- and 10-week mortality risk. We also estimated 10-week mortality risk among participants with nadir haemoglobin < 8.5 g/dL during amphotericin induction and who survived ≥ 2 weeks post-enrolment. Results: The median haemoglobin concentration at meningitis diagnosis was 11.5 g/dL [interquartile range (IQR) 9.7–13 g/dL; n = 311] with a mean decline of 4.2 g/dL [95% confidence interval (CI) −4.6 to −3.8; P < 0.001; n = 148] from diagnosis to nadir value among participants with baseline haemoglobin ≥ 8.5 g/dL. The median haemoglobin concentration was 8.1 g/dL (IQR 6.5–9.5 g/dL) at 2 weeks, increasing to 9.4 g/dL (IQR 8.2–10.9 g/dL) by 4 weeks and continuing to increase to 12 weeks. Among participants with haemoglobin < 8.5 g/dL at diagnosis, mortality risk was elevated at 2 weeks [hazard ratio (HR) 2.7; 95% CI 1.5–4.9; P < 0.01] and 10 weeks (HR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.03), relative to those with haemoglobin ≥ 8.5 g/dL. New-onset anaemia occurring with amphotericin therapy did not have a statistically significant association with 10-week mortality (HR 2.0; 95% CI 0.5–9.1; P = 0.4). Conclusions: Amphotericin induced significant haemoglobin declines, which were mostly transient and did not impact 10-week mortality. Individuals with moderate to life-threatening anaemia at baseline had a higher mortality risk at 2 and 10 weeks post-enrolment.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 British HIV Association
- amphotericin B
- cryptococcal meningitis