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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


NGENE, N C et al. Maternal and fetal outcomes of HIV-infected and non-infected pregnant women admitted to two intensive care units in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.8, pp.543-548. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Outcomes of HIV-positive pregnant patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) are controversial. OBJECTIVE: To determine maternal and fetal outcomes of HIV-positive patients admitted to ICUs. METHODS: Pregnant patients admitted to ICUs were enrolled in the study. On admission, they were classified as having low (<50%) or high (≥50%) risk of death by GRAMPT stratification score. The primary maternal outcome was death or hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury (HIBI), while fetal outcomes recorded were Apgar score, birth weight, and delivery of the fetus to facilitate maternal care. RESULTS: There were 84 admissions to the ICUs: 66 (78.6%) were post-partum and 18 (21.4%) antepartum. The HIV sero-status was as follows: 11 (13.1%) HIV status unknown; 42 (50%) HIV-negative and 31 (36.9%) HIV-positive. The most common pre-ICU admission diagnoses were pneumonia (19.4%) in HIV-positive patients and eclampsia (31%) in HIV-negative patients. Maternal outcomes showed a worsening trend among the HIV-positive women when compared with those who were HIV-negative (high GRAMPT, 1.91 relative risk of death/HIBI in HIV-positive; 95% CI 0.57 - 6.44). Forty-two patients gave birth within 24 hours prior to ICU admission; 3 gave birth while in ICU and none gave birth within 24 hours following ICU discharge. Outcomes of the 45 infants born to HIV-positive women were worse than for those born to HIV-negative patients (except for Apgar scores 1 - 6). Performance of the GRAMPT model for prediction of maternal mortality/HIBI was best in hypertensive patients (ROC: AUC 0.72; 95% CI 0.48 - 0.96). CONCLUSION: With the exception of Apgar scores 1 - 6, all outcomes showed worsening trends among infants born to HIV-positive mothers. Large multicentre studies are needed to confirm our findings.

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