April 14, 2009
In most HIV-positive patients, antiretroviral therapy can fully restore a normal CD4+ cell count of more than 500 cells/mm3. However, the researchers note, it is not clear whether all patients can achieve normalization of their CD4+ cell count, in part because no study has followed up patients for more than seven years.
The subjects of the current study were 366 patients from five clinical cohorts who maintained a plasma HIV RNA level of no more than 1,000 copies/mL for at least four years after initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Mixed-effects modeling, spline-smoothing regression, and Kaplan-Meier techniques were used to evaluate changes in CD4+ cell count.
Most (83 percent) of the subjects were men; the subjects' median age was 47. At the time of therapy initiation, the median CD4+ cell count was 201 (interquartile range, 72-344 cells/mm3). The median follow-up period was 7.5 years (interquartile range, 5.5-9.7 years).
Clinical Infectious Diseases
03.15.09; Vol. 48: P. 787-794; Colleen F. Kelley, Christina M.R. Kitchen, Peter W. Hunt, Benigno Rodriguez, Frederick M. Hecht, Mari Kitahata, Heide M. Crane, James Willig, Michael Mugavero, Michael Saag, Jeffrey N. Martin, Steven G. Deeks