High-dose saquinavir plus ritonavir: long-term efficacy in HIV-positive protease inhibitor-experienced patients and predictors of virologic response

Paredes, R.; Puig, T.; Arnó, A.; Negredo, E.; Balagué, M.; Bonjoch, A.; Jou, A.; Tuldrà, A.; Tural, C.; Sirera, G.; Veny, A.; Romeu, J.; Ruiz, L.; Clotet, B.

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 22(2): 132-138

1999


ISSN/ISBN: 1525-4135
PMID: 10843526
DOI: 10.1097/00126334-199910010-00004
Accession: 046251741

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Abstract
The year-long antiviral efficacy of a high-dose salvage regimen consisting of saquinavir (800 mg twice daily) plus ritonavir (400 mg twice daily) was evaluated in 58 HIV-positive patients who had seen no improvement under first-line protease inhibitor-containing regimens, nor in baseline predictors of virologic response. The efficacy of therapy was determined by CD4+/CD8+ and HIV-1 RNA values. The primary endpoint of our study was the percentage of patients with HIV-1 RNA levels <200 copies/ml (virologic success) at 6 and 12 months of of follow-up. Secondary endpoints were log10 reduction in HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ increases through follow-up. Surrogate markers related with a lower HIV-1 RNA area under the curve were identified at baseline. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards models were applied to identify baseline predictors of achieving viral suppression at <200 copies/ml. All analyses were intention to treat-last observation carried forward. Patients achieved a median HIV-1 RNA level reduction of >0.5 log through 1 year (-0.59 log10 at 12 months), as well as CD4+ counts increased significantly (89 cells/mm3 at 12 months). Overall, 53% of patients were likely to achieve HIV-1 RNA levels <200 copies/ml at 6 months. Seventy-six percent of patients who started therapy at HIV-1 RNA levels <5000 copies/ml but only 42% with baseline viral load of 5000 to 30,000 copies/ml and 18.7% with baseline viral load >30,000 copies/ml were likely to achieve viral suppression at 6 months (p < .001, log-rank test). Patients with baseline HIV-1 RNA levels between 5000 and 30,000 copies/ml (relative hazard [RH], 0.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01 to 0.98; p = .0396) and patients with baseline HIV-1 RNA levels >30,000 copies/ml (RH, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.07-0.61; p = .0040) were less likely to reach undetectable HIV-1 RNA levels than those with baseline HIV-1 RNA levels <5000 copies/ml. Salvage highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) strategies including saquinavir (SQV) at high doses plus ritonavir (RTV) exert a significant long-term efficacy in more than half of PI-experienced patients without significant additional toxicity. This therapeutic efficacy is strongly implemented by a switch at the lower HIV-1 RNA levels.