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AIDS. 1995 Dec;9(12):1337-42.

Survival analysis of two controlled trials of rifabutin prophylaxis against Mycobacterium avium complex in AIDS.

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.



Rifabutin prophylaxis has been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteremia in two randomized controlled clinical trials, but a survival benefit has not been observed. An analysis of complete follow-up of these patients through August 1992 was performed to assess subsequent survival, because although follow-up in the previous trials was limited at the time of initial analysis, the analysis did suggest that a survival benefit might be emerging.


Data from 1146 AIDS patients with CD4+ counts < or = 200 x 10(6)/l enrolled at 73 US and Canadian sites in two clinical trials of MAC prophylaxis were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards analysis with rifabutin use modeled as a time-dependent covariate, taking into account the initial randomized double-blind phase of the trials and the subsequent open-label phase of follow-up of those patients. Survival from date of enrollment was analyzed. Other covariates adjusted for in the analysis were CD4+ lymphocytes count, Karnofsky performance score and hospitalization for opportunistic complications of AIDS.


Patients who received open-label rifabutin may have had a better prognosis than those who did not, based on Karnofsky score and occurrence of opportunistic disease. Adjusting for these variables and for use of rifabutin as time-dependent covariates, the relative hazard (RH) of dying while receiving rifabutin prophylaxis was 0.74 for the entire cohort [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.60-0.91; P < 0.004]. For patients with an enrollment CD4+ count < or = 50 x 10(6)/l (n = 655), the RH was 0.75 (95% CI, 0.58-0.98), and for patients with an enrollment CD4+ count of > 50 x 10(6)/l (n = 491), the RH was 0.69 (95% CI, 0.49-0.99).


An analysis of the combined double-blind and open-label follow-up of two clinical trials of rifabutin prophylaxis for MAC supports the suggestion of the double-blind study that rifabutin improves survival of AIDS patients.

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