Total lymphocyte count: Not a surrogate marker for risk of death in HIV-infected Ugandan children

Philippa M. Musoke, Alicia M. Young, Maxensia A. Owor, Irene R. Lubega, Elizabeth R. Brown, Francis A. Mmiro, Lynne M. Mofenson, J. Brooks Jackson, Mary Glenn Fowler, Laura A. Guay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the utility of total lymphocyte count (TLC) in predicting the 12-month mortality in HIV-infected Ugandan children and to correlate TLC and CD4 cell %. Design: This is a retrospective data analysis of clinical and laboratory data collected prospectively on 128 HIV-infected children in the HIV Network for Prevention Trials 012 trial. Methods: TLC and CD4 cell % measurements were obtained at birth, 14 weeks, and 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age and assessed with respect to risk of death within 12 months. Results: Median TLC per microliter (CD4 cell %) was 4150 (41%) at birth, 4900 (24%) at 12 months, 4300 (19%) at 24 months, 4150 (19%) at 36 months, 4100 (18%) at 48 months, and 3800 (20%) at 60 months. The highest risk of mortality within 12 months was 34% - 37% at birth and declined to 13%-15% at 24 months regardless of TLC measurement. The correlation between CD4 cell % and TLC was extremely low overall (r = 0.01). Conclusions: The TLC did not predict a risk of progression to death within 12 months in HIV-infected Ugandan children. Therefore, TLC alone may not be a useful surrogate marker for determining those children at highest risk of death, who require antiretroviral therapy most urgently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Children
  • HIV
  • Total lymphocyte count


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