Routine physical examinations might be of value in HIV-infected patients, but the yield is unknown. We determined the diagnoses that would have been missed without performing annual routine physical examinations in HIV-infected patients with stable disease.
Data were collected from the medical records of 299 HIV-1-infected patients with CD4 count >350 cells/mm(3) if not using combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), or CD4 count >100 cells/mm3 and undetectable viral load if using cART. We defined the diagnoses that would have been missed without performing routine physical examinations on annual check-ups in 2010. Exclusion criteria were hepatitis B/C co-infection, start/switch of cART
215 patients (72%) had positive findings: lipodystrophy (30%), lymphadenopathy (16%) and hypertension (8.4%) were the most common. Two-thirds of all findings were not new or were based on complaints indicating a physical examination even if not routinely scheduled. For 24 patients (8.0%) the routine physical examination led to the finding of a new diagnosis: six-all men who have sex with men (MSM)-had a concurrent sexually transmitted infection, eight had hypertension, and ten others had a large variety of diagnoses. A total atrioventricular block with bradycardia was the most clinically relevant finding.
Annual physical examinations of HIV-infected patients with stable disease brought few new diagnoses that would have been missed without performing a routine examination. Our results suggest that standard assessments could be restricted to six-monthly measuring blood pressure in all patients and annually performing anogenital and digital rectal examination on MSM.
- HIV-INFECTED PATIENTS
- INVASIVE ANAL CANCER
- ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY