CD4 T-lymphocytes subsets in women with invasive cervical cancer in Kenya

P. Gichangi, L. Gathece, B. Estambale, M. Temmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and HIV are common in sub-Sahara Africa. Both ICC and HIV are immunosuppressive, and are associated with decreased CD4 and CD8 profiles. In a group of women with ICC starting radiotherapy, we determined their CD4 profiles. Design: A cross-sectional study. Settings: Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, radiotherapy unit. Subjects: Women with invasive cervical cancer (344) seeking radiotherapy treatment for the first time between January 2000 and March 2003, had blood samples analyzed for CD4 and CD8 cell counts by flow cytometry. Haemoglobin, white cell count, lymphocyte and platelet counts were determined using coulter machine. All patients had received pre- and post HIV counseling. Results: The mean age was 49+13 years. About 13.1% of the women with ICC were HIV positive. Overall, mean and median CD4 cell count was 829+355 cells/mm3 and 792 cells/mm3. Among HIV+ patients, mean and median CD4 cell counts were 451+288 cells/mm3 and 405 cells/mm3 respectively. The mean CD4 cell count for the HIV+ women was 886+329 cells/mm3 with median of 833 cells/mm3, range 147-2065 cells/mm3. Only nine (20%) of the 45 HIV+ women had CD4 cell count of 0-200. HIV+ women had lower CD4 percentage and cell count and higher CD8 percentage and cell count as compared to HIV negative women, p < 0.001. HIV infection was significantly and independently associated with high proportion of women who had CD4 cell count of less than 200 cells/mm3 or less than 350 cells/mm3, p < 0.0001. Conclusions: Women with ICC and concurrent HIV infection have decreased CD4 cell subset. These results suggest HIV infection may be associated with more severe CD4 depletion in women with ICC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalEast African Medical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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