Aims: Cardiovascular diseases in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients are becoming increasingly detected in developing countries and pericardial effusion is one of the common problems amongst them. The relation of CD4 count is also important, as it correlates with the severity of cardiac involvement. The present study was therefore undertaken to determine the clinical profile of pericardial effusion in HIV patients and its correlation with CD4 count. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital from 2015 to 2017 and it included 500 HIV patients, 39 of whom had pericardial effusion. All patients were assessed clinically and had undergone electrocardiograph, echocardiography and CD4 count along with the routine investigations. The presence of pericardial effusion was determined by echocardiography. The pericardial fluid was analyzed for cells, biochemistry, Gram staining, AFB staining and cultures. An attempt was made to correlate the findings with CD4 count. Results: Out of 500 HIV-positive patients, 39 (7.8%) were found to have pericardial effusion. Majority were male (64.1%) and middle-aged (40-65 y/o) (59%). Most of the effusions (61.54%) were quantified as large and the most common etiology was tuberculous (41%). Twenty-one patients (53.85%) were in the subgroup of CD4 count <50 cells/^L and 16 of them had severe pericardial effusion. Sixty-four percent of the patients underwent pericardial drainage and the remaining were managed medically. Conclusions: In the present study, 7.8% of HIV-infected patients had pericardial effusion. Tuberculosis is the most common cause. The lower the CD4 count is, the larger the pericardial effusion will be.
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