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Plasma concentrations of nelfinavir and viral suppression in HIV-1 infected pregnant women Chaworth-Musters, Tessa


BACKGROUND: Highly active antiretroviral therapy(HAART) is used in pregnancy to suppress viral load(pVL) before delivery, reducing risk of vertical HIV-transmission. Nelfinavir(NFV) containing HAART has been highly used in pregnancy, but dosages may be inadequate due to the physiologic changes that occur. Given concerns regarding optimal viral suppression in pregnancy, drug toxicity and resistance development, NFV levels need to be evaluated in this population to guide dosing recommendations. METHODS: As part of a prospective cohort study maternal blood was collected at 18-28wks, 32-37wks and at delivery. Times of last medication dose and blood sampling were recorded and drug levels were measured using HPLC MS-MS. NFV concentration-ratios(NFV-CRs) were calculated by dividing individual levels by a time-adjusted population value. Plasma NFV concentrations and NFV-CRs were compared across gestational age and correlated to variables of interest. Rate and maintenance of viral suppression were analyzed in relation to NFV concentrations and CRs. Statistical tests included ANOVA, χ2, linear regression, and Kaplan Meier estimates. RESULTS: 113 samples were collected from 32 subjects. Samples were eliminated if not in steady state (n=20); 93 samples from 32 subjects were analyzed. Mean NFV-CR at 18-28wks (1.1±0.73) and 32-37wks (0.86±0.73) were not significantly different but were both significantly higher by ANOVA (p=0.049) than the mean NFV-CR at delivery (0.44±0.50). CRs were highly variable. Of 49 antepartum samples, 49%(24) had a CR<0.90 (clinically relevant threshold). Four women reached a pVL <50 copies/mL by 34wks but had a detectable pVL at delivery. One woman never reached an undetectable pVL in pregnancy. Minimum and mean NFV-CRs in these 5 women were not significantly different than those who achieved and maintained virologic suppression. Vertical HIV transmission rate was 0%. CONCLUSIONS: There were no HIV transmissions but 16% (5/32) of women were inadequately suppressed at delivery, which is of concern. Factors associated with inadequate suppression and NFV-CRs need to be explored in conjunction with patient/physician reported adherence and viral resistance profiles. Extreme variability in CRs may limit the potential usefulness of random timed drug levels in all pregnant women.

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