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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Oct;28(10):1196-206. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

A switch in therapy to a reverse transcriptase inhibitor sparing combination of lopinavir/ritonavir and raltegravir in virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients: a pilot randomized trial to assess efficacy and safety profile: the KITE study.

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Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, USA.


A nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) backbone is a recommended component of standard highly active antiretroviral therapy (sHAART). However, long-term NRTI exposure can be limited by toxicities. NRTI class-sparing alternatives are warranted in select patient populations. This is a 48-week single-center, open-label pilot study in which 60 HIV-infected adults with plasma HIV-1 RNA (<50 copies/ml) on sHAART were randomized (2:1) to lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) 400/100 mg BID+raltegravir (RAL) 400 mg BID switch (LPV-r/RAL arm) or to continue on sHAART. The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects with HIV-RNA<50 copies/ml at week 48. Secondary efficacy and immunologic and safety endpoints were evaluated. Demographics and baseline lipid profile were similar across arms. Mean entry CD4 T cell count was 493 cells/mm(3). At week 48, 92% [95% confidence interval (CI): 83-100%] of the LPV-r/RAL arm and 88% (95% CI: 75-100%) of the sHAART arm had HIV-RNA<50 copies/ml (p=0.70). Lipid profile (mean ± SEM, mg/dl, LPV-r/RAL vs. sHAART) at week 24 was total-cholesterol 194 ± 5 vs. 176 ± 9 (p=0.07), triglycerides 234 ± 30 vs. 133 ± 27 (p=0.003), and LDL-cholesterol 121 ± 6 vs. 110 ± 8 (p=0.27). There were no serious adverse events (AEs) in either arm. Regimen change occurred in three LPV-r/RAL subjects (n=1, due to LPV-r/RAL-related AEs) vs. 0 in sHAART. There were no differences between arms in bone mineral density, total body fat composition, creatinine clearance, or CD4 T cell counts at week 48. In virologically suppressed patients on HAART, switching therapy to the NRTI-sparing LPV-r/RAL combination produced similar sustained virologic suppression and immunologic profile as sHAART. AEs were comparable between arms, but the LPV-r/RAL arm experienced higher triglyceridemia.

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