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J Infect. 2001 May;42(4):251-6.

Response of severe HIV-associated thrombocytopenia to highly active antiretroviral therapy including protease inhibitors.

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Clinic of Infectious Diseases, University of Bari, Italy.



To investigate the response of HIV-associated severe thrombocytopenia (STP) to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) including protease-inhibitors.


In this retrospective study, 15 patients with HIV-associated STP (platelet count < 50 x 10(9)/l mostly antiretroviral experienced (13/15), underwent HAART for at least 6 months (median 21; range 6-41 months) during which the platelet (PLT) count and plasmatic HIV-RNA were monitored. The PLT response was compared to that observed in 19 patients previously treated with zidovudine (AZT) monotherapy.


HAART induced a significant increase in the PLT count (chi(2)=10.53, P=0.01) within the third month which was sustained up to the sixth month of therapy. No STP relapse was observed among eight PLT responders followed for longer than 6 months (median 27; range 7-41 months). The PLT increase after HAART was similar to that observed with AZT monotherapy, but a greater number of HAART patients were antiretroviral-experienced. HAART determined a PLT response in 10/13 subjects whose thrombocytopenia had not improved after previous AZT monotherapy. After 6 months of HAART, a complete platelet response occurred more frequently in patients with undetectable plasma HIV-RNA levels (P=0.01).


HAART induces a sustained PLT response in HIV-associated STP, even in antiretroviral-experienced subjects and in those with AZT-resistant thrombocytopenia. An undetectable plasma HIV viraemia induced by HAART is necessary for STP recovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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