CD4 T-lymphocyte recovery in individuals with advanced HIV-1 infection receiving potent antiretroviral therapy for 4 years: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study.

Kaufmann GR, Perrin L, Pantaleo G, Opravil M, Furrer H, Telenti A, Hirschel B, Ledergerber B, Vernazza P, Bernasconi E, Rickenbach M, Egger M, Battegay M.

Arch Intern Med. 2003 Oct 13;163(18):2187-95. doi: 10.1001/archinte.163.18.2187.

BACKGROUND: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection allows recovery of CD4 T lymphocytes. Few studies have explored the long-term T-lymphocyte responses to HAART. METHODS: Plasma HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte counts were longitudinally analyzed over 4 years in 2235 participants of the Swiss HIV Cohort, commencing HAART between 1996 and 1997. The CD4 T-lymphocyte count increase, the percentage of individuals with a CD4 T-lymphocyte count of 500/microL or greater and less than 200/microL, and the determinants of CD4 T-lymphocyte recovery were evaluated in individuals treated with continuous (CONT; n = 985) and discontinuous (DISCONT; n = 1250) HAART. RESULTS: At 4 years, 69.5% of subjects (CONT, 84.5%; DISCONT, 53.6%; P<.001) showed HIV-1 RNA levels below 400 copies/mL, while the median CD4 T-lymphocyte count increased from 190/microL to 423/microL (CONT, 486/microL; DISCONT, 343/microL; P<.001). Of the 2235 participants, 38.8% (CONT, 47.7%; DISCONT, 29.4%; P<.001) reached a CD4 T-lymphocyte count of 500/microL or greater, but in 15.6%, CD4 T-lymphocyte count remained below 200/microL (CONT, 5.9%; DISCONT, 25.9%; P<.001). Larger increases in CD4 T-lymphocyte count were associated with higher baseline HIV-1 RNA, a larger percentage of undetectable HIV-1 RNA levels, lower baseline CD8 T-lymphocyte count, and younger age. Individuals reaching a CD4 T-lymphocyte count of 500/microL or greater at 4 years were characterized by higher nadir and baseline CD4 T-lymphocyte counts and a more sustained reduction of HIV-1 RNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: At 4 years, only 39% of individuals treated with HAART reached a CD4 T-lymphocyte count of 500/microL or greater, and 16% with CD4 T-lymphocyte counts less than 200/microL remained susceptible to opportunistic infections. Treatment interruptions, a poor virologic response, and older age were the major factors negatively affecting the recovery of CD4 T lymphocytes.

PMID: 14557216

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.