No advantage of quadruple- or triple-class antiretroviral therapy as initial treatment in patients with very high viraemia.
Grijsen ML., Holman R., Gras L., Wit FWNM., Hoepelman AIM., van den Berk GE., de Wolf F., Prins JM., ATHENA National Observational Cohort Study None.
BackgroundWe assessed whether quadruple or triple-class therapy for the initial treatment of HIV-1 infection provides a virological benefit over standard triple therapy in patients with very high plasma viraemia. The assessment was made based on a national observational HIV cohort in the Netherlands.MethodsInclusion criteria were age ≥18 years, treatment-naive, plasma viral load (pVL) ≥500,000 copies/ml and initiation of quadruple or triple therapy between 2001 and 2011. Time to viral suppression, defined as pVL<50 copies/ml, was compared between the two groups using Kaplan-Meier plots and multivariate Cox regression analysis.ResultsA total of 675 patients were included: 125 (19%) initiated quadruple and 550 (81%) triple therapy. Median pVL was 5.9 (IQR 5.8-6.1) log(10) copies/ml in both groups (P=0.49). 22 (18%) patients on quadruple and 63 (12%) on triple therapy interrupted the treatment regimen because of drug-related toxicity (P=0.06). Median time to viral suppression was 5.8 (IQR 4.6-7.9) and 6.0 (4.0-9.4) months in the patients on quadruple and triple therapy, respectively (log-rank, P=0.42). In the adjusted Cox analysis, quadruple therapy was not associated with time to viral suppression (HR 1.07 [95% CI 0.86, 1.33], P=0.53). Similar results were seen when comparing triple- versus dual-class therapy (n=72 versus n=601, respectively).ConclusionsInitial quadruple- or triple-class therapy was equally effective as standard triple therapy in the suppression of HIV-1 in treatment-naive patients with very high viraemia and did not result in faster pVL decreases, but did expose patients to additional toxicity.