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Open Access Research article

Early changes in inflammatory and pro-thrombotic biomarkers in patients initiating antiretroviral therapy with abacavir or tenofovir

Authors: Sergio Padilla1, Mar Masiá1, Natalia García2, Inmaculada Jarrin3, Consuelo Tormo2 and Félix Gutiérrez1*

Author Affiliations

1 Infectious Diseases Unit, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Department of Clinical Medicine, University Miguel Hernández, Elche, Alicante, Spain

2 Biochemistry Section, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Elche, Alicante, Spain

3 National Center of Epidemiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:40  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-40

Published: 4 February 2011

Abstract

Background

Abacavir has been associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, but the pathogenic mechanisms remain unknown. We evaluated longitudinal changes in pro-atherosclerotic biomarkers in patients initiating abacavir or tenofovir.

Methods

Consecutive patients initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) with abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine were included. Plasma levels of high sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) were measured at baseline and at different time points throughout 48 weeks. Comparisons were adjusted for age, sex, ART status at inclusion, viral load, lipodystrophy, Framingham score and hepatitis C virus co-infection status.

Results

50 patients were analyzed, 28 initiating abacavir and 22 tenofovir. The endothelial biomarker sVCAM-1 declined significantly in both treatment groups. hsCRP tended to increase soon after starting therapy with abacavir, a trend that was not seen in those initiating tenofovir. IL-6 significantly increased only at week 24 from baseline in patients on abacavir (+225%, p < 0.01) although the differences were not significant between groups. The procoagulant biomarker PAI-1 plasma levels increased from baseline at week 12 (+57%; p = 0.017), week 24 (+72%; p = 0.008), and week 48 (+149%; p < 0.001) in patients on tenofovir, but differences between groups were not statistically significant.

Conclusion

Changes in biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation, and endothelial function are not different in viremic patients starting ART with abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine. These changes occur in the early phases of treatment and include anti- and pro-atherosclerotic effects with both drugs.