Despite uncertainty over their reliability, CD4+ cell counts are used extensively in both clinical and research settings to document progression in HIV infection. We examined, therefore, whether the performance of a simple statistical test would facilitate greater accuracy in the use of this marker. CD4+ cell count data were collected from a cohort of deceased (N = 60) and living HIV-positive gay men (N = 100). Pearson's product moment correlation coefficients were calculated for each individual in order to examine the association between CD4+ counts and time since diagnosis. Correlations of 0.7 or greater were obtained in approximately 50 percent of cases in each cohort. For these individuals, CD4+ cell counts were deemed to be a reliable indicator of rate of progression. The results suggest that the proposed technique ensures greater precision in the use of CD4+ cell counts and that the technique can be used in individuals with either complete (deceased patients) or partial (living patients) CD4+ data.
AIDS Patient Care – Mary Ann Liebert
Published: Dec 1, 1995