Illness of immune reconstitution: Recognition and management
- Cite this article as:
- Gardner, E.M. & Connick, E. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2004) 6: 483. doi:10.1007/s11908-004-0068-4
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Some individuals who initiate highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) develop new or worsening opportunistic infections or malignancies despite improvements in surrogate markers of HIV-1 infection. These events of paradoxical clinical worsening, also known as immune reconstitution syndromes (IRS), are increased in individuals with prior opportunistic infections or low CD4+ T-cell nadirs. They are thought to result from reconstitution of the immune system’s ability to recognize pathogens or tumor antigens that were previously present, but clinically asymptomatic. There is no consensus regarding the diagnostic criteria or pathogenesis of IRS. Knowledge of their presentation and treatment is largely based on case reports. With the introduction of HAART into resource-limited settings, it is likely that significantly more and distinct forms of IRS will be observed. Prospective studies of the incidence and treatment of IRS in multiple settings are critical to better understand their pathogenesis and optimal management.