Predictors of outcome in AIDS patients receiving zidovudine

James P. Steinberg*, Joel B. Spear, Robert L. Murphy, Carl B. Wallemark, Constance A. Benson, Harold A. Kessler, John C. Pottage, John P. Phair

*Corresponding author for this work

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22 Scopus citations


Fifty-eight AIDS patients who previously had Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) were enrolled in an open trial of zidovudine therapy. We analyzed baseline clinical and laboratory parameters to identify predictors of outcome. Fifty-eight patients were followed for a mean of 26.5 weeks. There were 17 deaths; the probability of survival at 24 weeks was 0.81. Forty-one participants had unsuccessful outcomes, which included new opportunistic infections (24), progressive neurologic deterioration (2), and drug toxicity, excluding anemia, necessitating discontinuation of zidovudine (15). Only 24 subjects (41%) were receiving zidovudine at the end of the study period including 17 who had neither opportunistic infection nor toxicity. Low baseline hemoglobin level (p <0.001) and poor performance status as measured by the Karnofsky scale (p <0.01) independently predicted unsuccessful outcome and early death. Low hemoglobin (p = 0.001), low platelet count (p = 0.016), and increased time since PCP (p = 0.008) predicted development of drug toxicity. Neither CD4 lymphocyte count nor p24 antigenemia correlated with outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Genetic variability
  • HIV
  • Quasispecies
  • Viral mixturesPreferred base substitutions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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