Musculoskeletal manifestations in patients positive for human immunodeficiency virus: Correlation with CD4 count

E. Casado, A. Olivé, S. Holgado, R. Perez-Andres, J. Romeu, J. C. Lorenzo, B. Clotet, X. Tena

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41 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the relationship between the CD4+ lymphocyte count and musculoskeletal manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Methods. All patients from 1991 to 1998 who were positive for HIV with osteoarticular manifestations were reviewed retrospectively. HIV positivity was confirmed by ELISA and Western blot. CD4 count was performed by flow cytometry. Results. We studied 74 patients with osteoarticular manifestations. The study group comprised 61 men (82.4%) and 13 women (17.5%) with a mean age of 34.2 years (range 17-62). Fifty-two patients were iv drug users (70.3%). Septic arthritis was present in 20 cases (23.0%), soft tissue infections in 9 cases (12.2%), spondyloarthropathies in 6 cases (8.1%), lymphomas in 9 cases (12.2%), osteomyelitis in 6 (8.1%), and 24 miscellaneous cases (32.4%). The mean CD4 count was as follows: septic arthritis 164.7 cells/mm3, soft tissue involvement 127.1 cells/mm3, spondyloarthropathies 245.8 cells/mm3, lymphoma 132.8 cells/mm3, and osteomyelitis 233.6 cells/mm3. Conclusion. Osteoarticular manifestations in the setting of HIV infection tend to be predominantly infectious. S. aureus is the microorganism most frequently involved. Osteoarticular infections always appeared when the CD4 count was < 200 and pyomyositis and lymphoma appeared when CD4 was < 150. CD4 counts may be useful predictors to determine the type of musculoskeletal manifestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-804
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • CD4 count
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Musculoskeletal manifestations


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