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J Infect Dis. 1989 Jun;159(6):1029-36.

Serum beta 2-microglobulin decreases in patients with AIDS or ARC treated with azidothymidine.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.


Abnormally elevated serum beta 2-microglobulin has been associated with progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease and could reflect in vivo HIV activity. We prospectively studied the effect of azidothymidine therapy on serum beta 2-microglobulin concentration in 41 patients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex. Median beta 2-microglobulin concentration decreased from 4.02 mg/L before therapy to 3.73 mg/L at week 24 of therapy (P = .016). Individual changes in beta 2-microglobulin during azidothymidine therapy correlated with changes in serum HIV p24 antigen (Spearman, r = .42, P = .007). Also, in a randomized placebo-controlled study, median beta 2-microglobulin concentration decreased after 16 w of therapy in 5 azidothymidine-treated patients compared with levels in 7 placebo-treated controls (P = .05). Serum beta 2-microglobulin appears to be a sensitive marker for in vivo antiretroviral drug activity and may be a better marker than serum p24 antigen for early intervention trials involving antiretroviral agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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