HPTN Bibliographic Record

Mwinga K, Vermund SH, Chen YQ, Mwatha A, Read JS, Urassa W, Carpenetti N, Valentine M, Goldenberg RL. Selected hematologic and biochemical measurements in African HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women and their infants: the HIV Prevention Trials Network 024 protocol. BMC Pedatr. 2009, 7: 49 PMCID: 2746190.
BACKGROUND: Reference values for hematological and biochemical assays in pregnant women and in newborn infants are based primarily on Caucasian populations. Normative data are limited for populations in sub-Saharan Africa, especially comparing women with and without HIV infection, and comparing infants with and without HIV infection or HIV exposure. METHODS: We determined HIV status and selected hematological and biochemical measurements in women at 20-24 weeks and at 36 weeks gestation, and in infants at birth and 4-6 weeks of age. All were recruited within a randomized clinical trial of antibiotics to prevent chorioamnionitis-associated mother-to-child transmission of HIV (HPTN024). We report nearly complete laboratory data on 2,292 HIV-infected and 367 HIV-uninfected pregnant African women who were representative of the public clinics from which the women were recruited. Nearly all the HIV-infected mothers received nevirapine prophylaxis at the time of labor, as did their infants after birth (always within 72 hours of birth, but typically within just a few hours at the four study sites in Malawi (2 sites), Tanzania, and Zambia. RESULTS: HIV-infected pregnant women had lower red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell counts than HIV-uninfected women. Platelet and monocyte counts were higher among HIV-infected women at both time points. At the 4-6-week visit, HIV-infected infants had lower hemoglobin, hematocrit and white blood cell counts than uninfected infants. Platelet counts were lower in HIV-infected infants than HIV-uninfected infants, both at birth and at 4-6 weeks of age. At 4-6 weeks, HIV-infected infants had higher alanine aminotransferase measures than uninfected infants. CONCLUSION: Normative data in pregnant African women and their newborn infants are needed to guide the large-scale HIV care and treatment programs being scaled up throughout the continent. These laboratory measures will help interpret clinical data and assist in patient monitoring in a sub-Saharan Africa context.