Scientific article

A critical assessment of the prognostic value of HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts in HIV-infected patients. The Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Published inArchives of internal medicine, vol. 158, no. 3, p. 247-252
Publication date1998

OBJECTIVE: To determine to what extent human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts predict clinical outcomes in a general HIV-1-infected population. METHODS: Community-based prospective study (Swiss HIV Cohort Study) including 394 HIV-1-infected patients, randomly selected from 4 strata of CD4+ cell counts (0 to < 0.05, 0.05 to < 0.20, 0.20 to < 0.50, and > or = 0.50 x 10(9)/L). Levels of HIV-1 RNA, CD4+ cell counts, and other variables were evaluated from samples collected between 1991 and 1993 for their ability to predict death and clinical progression. RESULTS: Patients were followed up on average for 29 months. Baseline HIV-1 RNA levels, CD4+ cell counts, clinical stage, and beta 2-microglobulin levels independently predicted survival, whereas only HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts independently predicted clinical progression. Multivariate relative hazards (RHs) for death ranged from 1.0 to 5.4 across quartiles of CD4+ counts, but only from 1.0 to 1.8 across quartiles of HIV-1 RNA. For clinical progression, gradients of risk were similar for CD4+ counts (1.0-4.2) and for HIV-1 RNA (1.0-3.1). In patients with CD4+ cell counts less than 0.05 x 10(9)L, HIV-1 RNA levels predicted neither death nor clinical progression. Finally, the number of HIV-1 RNA copies per CD4+ cell was the best predictor of death (multivariate RH, 1.0-9.7 across quartiles) and clinical progression (multivariate RH, 1.0-4.1). CONCLUSIONS: Levels of HIV-1 RNA and CD4+ cell counts provided independent and complementary information on clinical outcomes. The RNA/CD4+ ratio was the best single predictor. In patients who had fewer than 0.05 x 10(9)/L CD4+ cells, HIV-1 RNA levels had little prognostic value.

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • HIV Infections/ diagnosis/ immunology
  • HIV-1/ genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral/ blood
  • Risk
  • Survival Analysis
  • Switzerland
Citation (ISO format)
YERLY FERRILLO, Sabine et al. A critical assessment of the prognostic value of HIV-1 RNA levels and CD4+ cell counts in HIV-infected patients. The Swiss HIV Cohort Study. In: Archives of internal medicine, 1998, vol. 158, n° 3, p. 247–252.
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0003-9926

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