Stephen D. Shafran, MD; Laura D. Mashinter, BScN, RN; Peter Phillips, MD; Richard G. Lalonde, MD; M. John Gill, MB; Sharon L. Walmsley, MD; Emil Toma, MD; Brian Conway, MD; Ignatius W. Fong, MB; Anita R. Rachlis, MD; Kurt E. Williams, MD; Gary E. Garber, MD; Walter F. Schlech III, MD; Fiona Smaill, MB, ChB
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is associated with improvement or resolution of several HIV-associated opportunistic infections. Although prophylaxis against disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection may be successfully discontinued after a favorable response to HAART, the 1999 guidelines from the U.S. Public Health Service/Infectious Diseases Society of America recommend continuing therapy for disseminated M. avium complex infection, regardless of the response to HAART.
To examine the outcome among patients with disseminated M. avium complex infection whose antimycobacterial therapy was discontinued after a favorable response to HAART.
Retrospective chart review between May 2000 and May 2001.
13 Canadian HIV clinics.
52 HIV-infected adults (43 men; mean age, 37.3 years) in whom successful antimycobacterial therapy for disseminated M. avium complex infection was discontinued after a favorable virologic response to HAART.
Survival, survival free of disseminated M. avium complex infection, and CD4+ cell count responses.
At the time of diagnosis of disseminated M. avium complex infection, the median CD4+ cell count was 0.016 Ã— 109 cells/L, and the median plasma HIV RNA level was 90 000 copies/mL (plasma HIV RNA levels were available for only 21 patients). The patients received a median of 32 months of antimycobacterial therapy that included ethambutol plus either clarithromycin or azithromycin. When antimycobacterial therapy was discontinued, the median CD4+ cell count was 0.23 Ã— 109 cells/L and the median plasma HIV RNA level was less than 50 copies/mL. A median of 20 months after discontinuation of antimycobacterial therapy, only 1 patient had developed recurrent M. avium complex disease (37 months after stopping antimycobacterial therapy). This patient had stopped HAART 2 months earlier because of uncontrolled HIV viremia. Twenty months after stopping antimycobacterial therapy, the other 51 patients had a median CD4+ cell count of 0.288 Ã— 109 cells/L; 34 (67%) had undetectable plasma HIV RNA levels, and 8 (15%) had plasma HIV RNA levels of 50 to 1000 copies/mL.
Discontinuation of successful disseminated M. avium complex therapy after a successful response to HAART is safe and reduces patients' pill burdens, potential drug adverse effects, drug interactions, and costs of therapy.
Shafran SD, Mashinter LD, Phillips P, et al. Successful Discontinuation of Therapy for Disseminated Mycobacterium avium Complex Infection after Effective Antiretroviral Therapy. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:734–737. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-137-9-200211050-00008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(9):734-737.
HIV, Infectious Disease, Mycobacterial Infections.
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