Adrenocortical Function In Nigerians With Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection
OBJECTIVE: This study sets out to determine the prevalence of adrenocortical insufficiency in persons with HIV infection by determining the response to low-dose (1 µg) ACTH stimulation. DESIGN: An experimental study involving people with HIV infection and healthy people. SETTING: The study group and the controls were recruited from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). PARTICIPANTS: forty-three newly diagnosed and treatment naïve persons with HIV (23 males and 20 females) and 70 (35 males and 35 females) HIV negative subjects completed the study. INTERVENTION: One µg Synacthen was given intravenously to stimulate the adrenal glands. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Blood was collected for basal cortisol levels and 30 minutes after the injection of ACTH. Cortisol was assayed using ELISA. RESULTS: The mean basal cortisol was 154.9 ± 27.2 nmol/L and 239.9 ± 31.6 nmol/L (p<0.001); while the 30-minute post ACTH test cortisol level was 354.8 ± 19.9 nmol/L and 870.9 ± 163.5 nmol/L (p<0.001) and the increment was 100.0 ± 17.2 nmol/L and 588.8 ± 143.4 nmol/L (p<0.001) in HIV and healthy subject group respectively. Using the diagnostic criteria derived for the diagnosis of adrenocortical insufficiency in this study (30 minute cortisol level <380.2 nmol/L and increment from basal to stimulated cortisol level <158.5 nmol/L); fifteen (34.8%) persons with HIV had adrenal insufficiency. CONCLUSION: Adrenocortical insufficiency is common in persons with HIV infection, occurring in about 34.8% of patients studied. Clinically evident adrenocortical insufficiency is uncommon in persons with HIV.