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Comparison of dynamic monitoring strategies based on CD4 cell counts in virally suppressed, HIV-positive individuals on combination antiretroviral therapy in high-income countries: a prospective, observational study.
Caniglia EC, Cain LE, Sabin CA, Robins JM, Logan R, Abgrall S, Mugavero MJ, Hernández-Díaz S, Meyer L, Seng R, Drozd DR, Seage GR, Bonnet F, Dabis F, Moore RD, Reiss P, van Sighem A, Mathews WC, Del Amo J, Moreno S, Deeks SG, Muga R, Boswell SL, Ferrer E, Eron JJ, Napravnik S, Jose S, Phillips A, Justice AC, Tate JP, Gill J, Pacheco A, Veloso VG, Bucher HC, Egger M, Furrer H, Porter K, Touloumi G, Crane H, Miro JM, Sterne JA, Costagliola D, Saag M, Hernán MA, HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration, Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems. Comparison of dynamic monitoring strategies based on CD4 cell counts in virally suppressed, HIV-positive individuals on combination antiretroviral therapy in high-income countries: a prospective, observational study. The lancet. HIV. 2017 Jun 1; 4(6):e251-e259.
Clinical guidelines vary with respect to the optimal monitoring frequency of HIV-positive individuals. We compared dynamic monitoring strategies based on time-varying CD4 cell counts in virologically suppressed HIV-positive individuals.
In this observational study, we used data from prospective studies of HIV-positive individuals in Europe (France, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK) and North and South America (Brazil, Canada, and the USA) in The HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration and The Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems. We compared three monitoring strategies that differ in the threshold used to measure CD4 cell count and HIV RNA viral load every 3-6 months (when below the threshold) or every 9-12 months (when above the threshold). The strategies were defined by the threshold CD4 counts of 200 cells per µL, 350 cells per µL, and 500 cells per µL. Using inverse probability weighting to adjust for baseline and time-varying confounders, we estimated hazard ratios (HRs) of death and of AIDS-defining illness or death, risk ratios of virological failure, and mean differences in CD4 cell count.
47?635 individuals initiated an antiretroviral therapy regimen between Jan 1, 2000, and Jan 9, 2015, and met the eligibility criteria for inclusion in our study. During follow-up, CD4 cell count was measured on average every 4·0 months and viral load every 3·8 months. 464 individuals died (107 in threshold 200 strategy, 157 in threshold 350, and 200 in threshold 500) and 1091 had AIDS-defining illnesses or died (267 in threshold 200 strategy, 365 in threshold 350, and 459 in threshold 500). Compared with threshold 500, the mortality HR was 1·05 (95% CI 0·86-1·29) for threshold 200 and 1·02 (0·91·1·14) for threshold 350. Corresponding estimates for death or AIDS-defining illness were 1·08 (0·95-1·22) for threshold 200 and 1·03 (0·96-1·12) for threshold 350. Compared with threshold 500, the 24 month risk ratios of virological failure (viral load more than 200 copies per mL) were 2·01 (1·17-3·43) for threshold 200 and 1·24 (0·89-1·73) for threshold 350, and 24 month mean CD4 cell count differences were 0·4 (-25·5 to 26·3) cells per µL for threshold 200 and -3·5 (-16·0 to 8·9) cells per µL for threshold 350.
Decreasing monitoring to annually when CD4 count is higher than 200 cells per µL compared with higher than 500 cells per µL does not worsen the short-term clinical and immunological outcomes of virally suppressed HIV-positive individuals. However, more frequent virological monitoring might be necessary to reduce the risk of virological failure. Further follow-up studies are needed to establish the long-term safety of these strategies.
National Institutes of Health.