Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS Med. 2011 May;8(5):e1001029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001029. Epub 2011 May 3.

Effectiveness of early antiretroviral therapy initiation to improve survival among HIV-infected adults with tuberculosis: a retrospective cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. molly_franke@hms.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Randomized clinical trials examining the optimal time to initiate combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-infected adults with sputum smear-positive tuberculosis (TB) disease have demonstrated improved survival among those who initiate cART earlier during TB treatment. Since these trials incorporated rigorous diagnostic criteria, it is unclear whether these results are generalizable to the vast majority of HIV-infected patients with TB, for whom standard diagnostic tools are unavailable. We aimed to examine whether early cART initiation improved survival among HIV-infected adults who were diagnosed with TB in a clinical setting.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

We retrospectively reviewed charts for 308 HIV-infected adults in Rwanda with a CD4 count ≤ 350 cells/µl and a TB diagnosis. We estimated the effect of cART on survival using marginal structural models and simulated 2-y survival curves for the cohort under different cART strategies:start cART 15, 30, 60, or 180 d after TB treatment or never start cART. We conducted secondary analyses with composite endpoints of (1) death, default, or lost to follow-up and (2) death, hospitalization, or serious opportunistic infection. Early cART initiation led to a survival benefit that was most marked for individuals with low CD4 counts. For individuals with CD4 counts of 50 or 100 cells/µl, cART initiation at day 15 yielded 2-y survival probabilities of 0.82 (95% confidence interval: [0.76, 0.89]) and 0.86 (95% confidence interval: [0.80, 0.92]), respectively. These were significantly higher than the probabilities computed under later start times. Results were similar for the endpoint of death, hospitalization, or serious opportunistic infection. cART initiation at day 15 versus later times was protective against death, default, or loss to follow-up, regardless of CD4 count. As with any observational study, the validity of these findings assumes that biases from residual confounding by unmeasured factors and from model misspecification are small.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early cART reduced mortality among individuals with low CD4 counts and improved retention in care, regardless of CD4 count. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.

PMID:
21559327
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3086874
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk