To determine the incidence of hepatotoxicity and to investigate whether plasma concentrations of nevirapine, in addition to other risk factors, could predict hepatotoxicity during treatment with nevirapine-containing regimens, we conducted a retrospective analysis with data from 174 individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). During regular visits to the clinic, blood samples were collected for the determination of nevirapine plasma concentrations and clinical chemistry parameters including liver enzymes (LEs) and total bilirubin (TBR). Severe hepatotoxicity was defined as a grade > or =3 elevation in at least one of the tested LEs or TBR levels while on therapy. Analysis of predictive factors was focused on increases in aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and/or alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) to grade > or =2. Grade > or =3 elevation developed with an incidence of 0.15 per patient year (PY); only 3.4% of the patients developed grade > or =3 values for ASAT and/or ALAT (incidence 0.03 per PY). We found that patients who use a protease inhibitor (PI) in a nevirapine-containing regimen and patients who have chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection are at a higher risk for the development of increases in ASAT and/or ALAT to grade > or =2. In contrast, the plasma concentration of nevirapine does not appear to be a predictive factor in this study population.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.