Medical News

Absolute Count and Percentage of CD4+ Lymphocytes Are Independent Predictors of Disease Progression in HIV-Infected Persons Initiating Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

January 5, 2007

Todd Hulgan of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's Division of Infectious Diseases and colleagues conducted the study among 1,891 participants who began HAART regimens between 1997 and 2004 and received more than 30 days of therapy and who had baseline values of CD4+ T cell counts, CD4 percentages and HIV-1 RNA. The researchers used a proportional-hazard model to determine the link between CD4 percentage and disease progression and found that of the 1,891 participants, 468, or 25%, experienced disease progression during the study. They conducted a multivariable analysis that included age, race, sex, HIV-1 RNA, previous antiretroviral therapy, likely transmission route, prior AIDS-defining events, CD4 count and CD4 percentage. According to the study, previous antiretroviral therapy, injection drug use, and lower CD4 count and percentage predicted disease progression. The researchers concluded that CD4 percentage at the start of initial HAART regimens can predict disease progression independent of CD4 counts and that CD4 percentage can be used to determine the timing of HAART therapy (Hulgan et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, February 2007).

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