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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002 Dec;46(12):3907-16.

Virtual inhibitory quotient predicts response to ritonavir boosting of indinavir-based therapy in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with ongoing viremia.

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Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA.


Depending on the degree of underlying resistance present, optimization of the pharmacokinetics of protease inhibitors may result in improved virologic suppression. Thirty-seven human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects who had chronic detectable viremia and who were receiving 800 mg of indinavir three times a day (TID) were switched to 400 mg of indinavir BID with 400 mg of ritonavir two times a day (BID) for 48 weeks. Full pharmacokinetic evaluations were obtained for 12 subjects before the switch and 3 weeks after the switch. Combination therapy increased the indinavir predose concentrations in plasma by 6.47-fold, increased the minimum concentration in serum by 3.41-fold, and reduced the maximum concentration in serum by 57% without significantly changing the area under the plasma concentration-time curve at 24 h. At week 3, 58% (21 of 36) of the subjects for whom postbaseline measurements were available achieved a viral load in plasma of <50 copies/ml or a reduction from the baseline load of > or =0.5 log(10) copies/ml. Of these subjects, 82% (14 of 17) whose viruses had three or fewer protease inhibitor mutations and 88% (14 of 16) whose viruses had an indinavir virtual phenotypic susceptibility test of more than sixfold less than that for the baseline isolate were considered virologic responders. The indinavir virtual inhibitory quotient, which is a function of baseline indinavir phenotypic resistance (estimated by virtual phenotype) and the indinavir predose concentration in plasma achieved with indinavir-ritonavir combination therapy, was the best predictor of a viral load reduction. Sixteen subjects discontinued the study by week 48 due to adverse events, predominantly related to hyperlipidemia. Pharmacokinetic intensification of indinavir-based therapy with ritonavir reduced the viral loads in subjects but added toxicity. The virtual inhibitory quotient, which incorporates both baseline viral resistance and the level of drug exposure in plasma, was superior to either baseline resistance or drug exposure alone in predicting the virologic response.

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