Matched case–control study to evaluate risk factors for hyperlactataemia in HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy


Dr D. Datta, Kobler Clinic, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road, London SW10 9NH, UK. E-mail:



Lactic acidosis is a life-threatening event during antiretroviral therapy (ART). Hyperlactataemia may be a prelude to acidosis. Our database study suggested that female gender, intercurrent illness and didanosine (ddI)-based regimens may increase risk of lactic acidosis. The aim of this matched case–control study was to identify risk factors for hyperlactataemia requiring screening.


Cases were defined as patients with two consecutive lactate samples ≥3.5 mmol/L taken more than 1 week apart. Cases were matched to two controls on gender, use of ddI and total duration of therapy using a 6-month window on either side. Controls never had raised lactate >2.5 mmol/L. A conditional logistic regression analysis using the PHREG procedure in SAS (SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC) was performed with a discreet logistic model stratified by matching variables.


Twenty-one cases were matched to 42 controls. In the univariate model, current use of stavudine (d4T), total cholesterol >5.3 mmol/L and glucose levels ≥5.2 mmol/L gave increased likelihood of persistent hyperlactataemia. The multivariate model showed current use of d4T to be a significant independent predictor of persistent hyperlactataemia.

Conclusions The results of this case–control study indicate that, when controlling for ddI use, d4T use is an additional risk factor for hyperlactataemia.