D. Nerusul. East Stroudsburg State University.
The quantitative detection of HIV RNA (a viral load determination) is one of the essential components of the monitoring of HIV infection (Wittek 2007 effective 40mg zocor xanax cholesterol test, Thompson 2010) buy zocor 40 mg overnight delivery test jezelf cholesterol. To increase the safety of blood products the HIV PCR is obliga- tory in the context of blood donation discount zocor 10mg with amex cholesterol ratio normal range. Other indications for the use of the PCR are the exclusion of an HIV infection of newborns of HIV+ mothers (see below), the clarification of equivocal serological constellations or a suspected acute infection. According to new recommendations, PCR analysis may be used for confirmation of a reactive screening test result instead of a Western Blot. For this purpose, a PCR test is considered positive in case of a viral load above 1000 copies/ml. If the viral load amounts to less than 1000 copies/ml or the PCR is negative subsequent Western Blot analysis is obligatory (DVV/GfV 2015). However, the HIV PCR is not recommended as a screening test. Since false negative results are possible it cannot replace the serological screening test. Possible reasons for false negative results are as follows: 1. Commercially available HIV PCR tests usually do not cover HIV-2 (rare in Europe). HIV is characterized by a high degree of genetic diversity. In case of infection with a new or previously unknown variant sensitivity of the PCR may decrease due to mutations affecting the primer or probe binding sites. Through a so-called “dual target” PCR the risk of false negative test results due to sequence variability may be reduced (Chudy 2012; see also chapter 6. The “dual target” PCR is obligatory for screening blood donations. A small number of HIV+ patients can suppress viral replication in the absence of ART (“elite controllers”, prevalence less than 1%). Thus, despite serologically proven HIV infection a PCR test may be negative in those patients. The aim of the antiretroviral treatment is the reduction of the viral load below the detection limit. As a consequence, the use of a PCR as a HIV screening test in a successfully treated patient would lead to a false-negative testing result. Rapid tests Rapid HIV tests functionally correspond to a screening test, i. Rapid tests can be carried out quickly, easily and without any equipment expense and can therefore be used as so-called “point of care” tests. In addition to plasma and serum, full or capillary blood (from the fin- gertip or the ear lobe) is suitable as test material, so that no centrifuge is required. In some test systems urine or oral transudate (not saliva) may be used. However, rapid tests exhibit less sensitivity if specimens others than serum or plasma are used (Pavie 2010). Most frequently, rapid tests are based on immuno-chromatographic methods. Other techniques such as particle agglutination and immunofiltration are also used (Branson 2003, Greenwald 2006). Rapid tests produced according to the European directive 98/79/EC on in vitro diag- nostic medical devices (CE marking) are considered safe. These tests exhibit a high sensitivity and specificity in studies (Huppert 2010). However, apparently there are limitations regarding diagnosis of primary HIV infection: almost all currently avail- able rapid tests only detect HIV antibodies but not p24 antigen, corresponding to the (outdated) 3rd generation HIV test. Since 2009 a certified 4th generation rapid test (Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo, Inverness Medical) is available which not only detects but can also differentiate HIV antibodies and p24 antigen. Although the supe- riority of this rapid test compared to the 3rd generation rapid test was illustrated (Chetty 2012), some studies indicate a lack of sensitivity in the context of acute HIV infections (Kilembe 2012, Brauer 2013). In a comparative study the test exhibited deficiencies regarding the recognition of primary HIV infections. About one third of the samples of patients with acute HIV infection tested falsely negative. Reactivity was delayed by one week compared to a reference test (Mohrmann 2009). Rapid tests should be used only for initial orientation. The results of the testing should be con- firmed at the earliest opportunity in a routine laboratory with a standard HIV test. Rapid tests are particularly suitable for use in emergency situations where the test result has immediate consequences. These include emergency operations and needle- stick injuries. Also in pregnant women with unknown HIV status at delivery a rapid test can be useful. However, the cooperating laboratory should be contacted to indi- cate the need for a rapid HIV result. When necessary, the result of a conventional HIV test can be available within one hour upon receipt of the sample. Rapid tests are also useful in countries with poor medical infrastructure (UNAIDS/WHO 2009) and in the context of low-threshold testing for individuals who would otherwise not be tested. The diagnostic window The “diagnostic gap” or “window” indicates the time period between transmission of a pathogen and the onset of biochemical measurable infection markers such as antibodies, antigen or nucleic acids (Busch 1997). At the earliest, HIV antibody pro- duction begins two weeks after transmission. HIV-specific antibodies can be detected after four weeks in 60–65%, after six weeks in 80%, after eight weeks in 90% and after twelve weeks in 95% of cases. A “seronegative” chronic HIV infection is an absolute rarity and irrelevant in practice (Spivak 2010). The p24 antigen is detectable HIV Testing 19 about five days before seroconversion (the first occurrence of specific antibodies). Therefore, 4th generation diagnostic tests can shorten the diagnostic gap by simul- taneous detection of p24 antigen. The earliest lab marker is HIV RNA that is detectable approximately seven days before the p24 antigen (Fiebig 2003). In many cases HIV RNA can be detected by the second week after transmission. However, a negative result at this time point cannot exclude an infection. A negative result in the HIV screening test precludes the existence of HIV antibod- ies and p24 antigen at the time of testing.
Indirect evidence Eight fair-quality randomized controlled trials compared a drug for neuropathic pain to placebo 117-124 for prevention or treatment of chemotherapy-induced or cancer-related neuropathic pain buy generic zocor 20 mg cholesterol test kit walgreens. Three trials buy generic zocor 20mg on line heart healthy cholesterol lowering foods, 1 each of amitriptyline zocor 20 mg low price cholesterol levels patient uk, carbamazepine, and oxcarbazepine, were designed to assess 117, the effectiveness of treatment to prevent pain in patients undergoing chemotherapy (Table 8). Two trials found no difference in the development of neuropathic pain with either amitriptyline or carbamazepine. An open-label trial of oxcarbazepine compared with usual care in patients with advanced colorectal cancer found a reduction in the development of neuropathic pain in 117 patients given oxcarbazepine (31. These percentages are for patients who completed treatment (32 of 40, 80%); intent-to-treat results also showed efficacy of oxcarbazepine (P=0. Severity of pain was also reduced in the oxcarbazepine group (per-protocol results). Neuropathic pain 30 of 92 Final Update 1 Report Drug Effectiveness Review Project Table 8. Placebo-controlled trials of drugs to prevent chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain Author, year Drug/comparator N/ (Quality) Design Population Main results Amitriptyline 100 mg 114/ 119 Kautio 2009 vs. Parallel; open-label chemotherapy Intent-to-treat results P=0. They included 1 trial each of gabapentin, lamotrigine, amitriptyline, and nortriptyline. None of these found a difference between treatment and placebo in mean pain score, response, or quality-of-life measures. A fifth trial found gabapentin plus an opioid reduced burning or shooting pain more than 121 an opioid alone. The results of this trial may not be valid, however. It was rated poor quality due to lack of blinding of outcome assessment, baseline differences between groups, and no intent-to-treat analysis combined with a 16% withdrawal rate (Table 9). Neuropathic pain 31 of 92 Final Update 1 Report Drug Effectiveness Review Project Table 9. Randomized controlled trials of drugs for treatment of chemotherapy- induced and cancer-related neuropathic pain Drug, Author, year dose/comparator N, treatment (Quality) Design Population duration Main results Gabapentin vs. Indirect evidence We identified 6 fair-quality placebo-controlled trials of drugs to treat HIV-associated 125-130 neuropathic pain (Table 10). Two trials included amitriptyline, 2 included lamotrigine, 1 included gabapentin, and 1 included pregabalin. In both amitriptyline trials, there was no difference between treatment and placebo in 126, 127 pain score or response. In the 2 lamotrigine trials, treatment was more effective than 128, 129 placebo only in the subgroup of patients who were on neurotoxic antiretroviral treatment. No other trials reported data by exposure to neurotoxic antiretrovirals. In the trial of gabapentin, both groups significantly improved from baseline but the difference between groups was not 125 130 significant. Pregabalin was no more effective than placebo in 1 trial. Neuropathic pain 32 of 92 Final Update 1 Report Drug Effectiveness Review Project Table 10. Placebo-controlled trials of drugs for HIV-associated neuropathic pain N Author, year Duration (Quality) Drug, dose Design Main results No difference from placebo in pain score 126 Kieburtz 1998 96 Moderate or better relief: (Fair) Amitriptyline 10 weeks 23/46 amitriptyline (50%) Parallel 24/50 placebo (48%) P=0. Diphenhydramine (maximum dose 75 mg) was also included as an active placebo so that subjects would think they were getting gabapentin or amitriptyline due to the side effects of diphenhydramine. Twenty-two patients (58%) completed all 3 phases of the trial. Analysis of the 22 completers found average visual analogue scale pain intensity score at week 8 was significantly lower with amitriptyline than with gabapentin (P=0. There was no significant difference between gabapentin and diphenhydramine. An analysis by patients’ level of depression found that among those with the lowest levels of depression, there was no difference in pain scores between the 3 groups, however. Among those with the highest levels of depression according to The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Short Form (CESD-SF), amitriptyline reduced pain scores more than gabapentin or diphenhydramine. Among patients in the low CESD-SF group (score <10), response rates (defined as 30% or more decrease in pain score) were 50% with amitriptyline, 42. Among those in the high CESD-SF group (score >10), response rates were 62. Indirect evidence A recent, good-quality systematic review summarized the evidence for effectiveness of pharmacologic treatments for pain after spinal cord injury, including anticonvulsants and 131 41, antidepressants. Searches were conducted from 1980 to June 2009; 9 trials were included. Methodological quality of studies was rated based on internal validity of studies, with trials assigned a rating of excellent, good, fair, or poor. A level of evidence hierarchy was used to determine the strength of evidence for each intervention. Treatment effectiveness summary for drugs to treat neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury (from Teasell 2010) Drug (references) Effectiveness 41, 135, 137 Gabapentin Effective 136, 138 Pregabalin Effective 134 Effective only in subgroup of persons with incomplete Lamotrigine spinal cord injury 133 Valproic acid Not effective 41, 132 Amitriptyline Effective only in depressed persons 139 Levetiracetam Not effective The review concluded that there is Level 1 evidence (based on good-quality randomized controlled trials) of effectiveness of gabapentin and pregabalin in pain after spinal cord injury. Level 1 evidence also showed effectiveness of lamotrigine, but only in persons with incomplete Neuropathic pain 34 of 92 Final Update 1 Report Drug Effectiveness Review Project spinal cord injury. There was Level 1 evidence from 1 small trial that valproic acid was not effective, but there was a trend toward improvement in the treatment group. Amitriptyline was effective only in persons with comorbid depression. Levetiracetam was not effective compared with placebo. Central pain due to stroke or multiple sclerosis Direct evidence We identified 1 fair-quality, head-to-head crossover trial of amitriptyline compared with 39 carbamazepine in 15 patients with central poststroke pain. After 4 weeks, mean pain intensity scores did not differ between treatment groups (4. On the global assessment of change in pain, more patients reported improvement with amitriptyline than carbamazepine (67% vs. Indirect evidence Five fair-quality placebo controlled trials were conducted in patients with central pain due to 138, 140-144 stroke or multiple sclerosis (Table 12). One of these is unpublished; its results were 142 provided by the study sponsor. One trial of nortriptyline in patients with various types of central pain was rated poor quality. Neuropathic pain 35 of 92 Final Update 1 Report Drug Effectiveness Review Project Table 12. Placebo-controlled trials in patients with central neuropathic pain Drug Dose N Author, year Design Population Duration Main results Decrease in pain score from baseline with treatment (P=0.
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