Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of elevated point-of-care (POC) capillary blood lactate concentrations in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-exposed, uninfected children (HEU) and to determine if POC lactate varies with in utero antiretroviral (ARV) exposure.
Methods: The Surveillance Monitoring for Antiretroviral Therapy Toxicities protocol of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study enrolled 1934 children between 2007 and 2009, 0 to 12 years of age, born to HIV-infected mothers. POC lactate was measured annually on capillary blood using the Lactate Pro device. Associations of POC lactate with in utero ARV exposure and other characteristics were evaluated using logistic regression models, adjusting for maternal characteristics and other confounders.
Results: Of 1641 children with POC measurements (median age, 3.0 years), 3.4% had POC lactate >3 mmol/L. Median POC lactate level decreased with age (1.9 mmol/L, 1.7 mmol/L, and 1.6 mmol/L for children 0–<6 months [99% ≤6 weeks of life], 6–<24 months, and ≥24 months of age, respectively; P < 0.001). Prevalence of elevated POC lactate did not differ by in utero ARV exposure drug class, but was significantly higher in children exposed in utero to emtricitabine or efavirenz, cocaine or opiates, and those of white race.
Conclusions: POC lactate testing is a useful rapid laboratory screening assay for HEU children with ARV exposure. ARV use during pregnancy has resulted in a dramatic decrease in mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and the risk of elevated lactate in HEU children is low. However, as new ARVs and more complex regimens are used during pregnancy by HIV-infected women, continued monitoring for infant toxicities is essential.