Quantitative assessment of intra-patient variation in CD4+ T cell counts in stable, virologically-suppressed, HIV-infected subjects

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Objectives: Counts of absolute CD4+ T lymphocytes (CD4+ T cells) are known to be highly variable in untreated HIV-infected individuals, but there are no data in virologically-suppressed individuals. We investigated CD4+ T cell variability in stable, virologically-suppressed, HIV-1 infected adults on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Methods: From a large hospital database we selected patients with stable virological suppression on cART for >3 years with >10 CD4+ T cell measurements performed over a further >2 years; and a control group of 95 patients not on cART. Results: We identified 161 HIV-infected patients on cART without active HCV or HBV infection, with stable virological suppression for a median of 6.4 years. Over the study period 88 patients had reached a plateau in their absolute CD4+ T cell counts, while 65 patients had increasing and 8 patients had decreasing absolute CD4+ T cell counts. In patients with plateaued CD4 + T cell counts, variability in absolute CD4+ T cell counts was greater than in percent CD4+ T cells (median coefficient of variation (CV) 16.6 [IQR 13.8-20.1 and CV 9.6 [IQR 7.4- 13.0 , respectively). Patients with increasing CD4+ T cell counts had greater variability in absolute CD4+ T cell counts than those with plateaued CD4 T cell counts (CV 19.5 [IQR 16.1-23.8 , p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0125248
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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