BACKGROUND: Current eligibility criteria for urine lateral-flow-lipoarabinomannan assay (LF-LAM) in ambulatory, HIV-positive patients rely on the CD4 count. We investigated the diagnostic yield of LF-LAM and the 6-month mortality in ambulatory, TB symptomatic, HIV-positive patients regardless of their CD4 count.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective, observational study that included all ambulatory, >15-year-old, TB symptomatic (cough, weight loss, fever, or night sweats) HIV-positive patients presenting at 4 health facilities in Malawi. Patients received a clinical examination and were requested urine LF-LAM, sputum microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF. TB was defined as bacteriologically confirmed if Xpert was positive.
RESULTS: Of 485 patients included, 171 (35.3%) had a CD4
CONCLUSIONS: Urine-LAM testing can be useful for TB diagnosis in HIV-positive TB-symptomatic patients with no CD4 cell count. LAM grade can identify patients at higher risk of death in this situation.