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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Sep;55(1):78-81. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181d05579.

Incomplete reversibility of tenofovir-related renal toxicity in HIV-infected men.

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HIV, Immunology, and Infectious Disease Unit and Centre for Applied Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



Significant nephrotoxicity develops in 1%-2% of HIV-infected adults receiving tenofovir (TDF). This nephrotoxicity is said to resolve rapidly, but this assessment is based on short follow-up, very few patients and use of serum creatinine, an insensitive measure of renal function.


We determined the reversibility of TDF-related nephrotoxicity in 24 HIV-infected male outpatients who ceased TDF for renal impairment by retrospective assessment of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the Modified Diet in Renal Disease equation.


Median (interquartile range) eGFR pre-TDF was 74 (61-88) mL.min.1.73 m, fell to 51 (39-61) mL.min.1.73 m at TDF cessation and increased to 58 (48-70) mL.min.1.73 m a median 13 months after TDF cessation (most recent vs pre-TDF eGFR; P = 0.0008). Results were similar with the Cockcroft-Gault equation and after exclusion of patients who had shorter follow-up after TDF cessation. Only 10 (42%) patients reached their pre-TDF eGFR. Greater eGFR improvement was significantly associated with more rapid decline in eGFR on TDF therapy and in those who received TDF with a protease inhibitor, with a trend for shorter duration of TDF therapy.


In this population, TDF-related renal toxicity was not always fully reversible.

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