Background: Cases of renal dysfunction in patients receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) have been reported. We analyzed the renal safety of TDF compared with thymidine analogue-containing (control) regimens through 144 weeks from two clinical trials in antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected patients.
Methods: We evaluated the changes in renal parameters in 1111 patients (TDF, n = 556; control, n = 555) who were enrolled in two randomized, controlled trials (Studies 903 and 934) comparing TDF vs. either stavudine or zidovudine in combination with efavirenz and either lamivudine or emtricitabine. The studies included patients with serum creatinine less than 1.5 mg/dl, serum phosphorus at least 2.2 mg/dl and estimated glomerular filtration rate by Cockcroft-Gault at least 60 and at least 50 ml/min at screening.
Results: Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. No patient discontinued due to renal abnormalities in the TDF arm. Through 144 weeks, the proportion of patients who experienced confirmed abnormalities in serum creatinine (>1.5 mg/dl) or serum phosphorus (<2.0 mg/dl) was less than 1% in both groups; a similar proportion of patients experienced urine proteinuria at least 100 mg/dl (TDF, 5%; control, 6%). The median change from baseline to week 144 in glomerular filtration rate was -2 and 3 ml/min by Cockcroft-Gault, and -2 and -1 ml/min per 1.73 m by modification of diet in renal disease in the TDF and control groups (P < 0.05), respectively.
Conclusion: In two randomized, controlled trials, small differences in glomerular filtration rate over time were noted but no clinically relevant renal disease or adverse events were demonstrated in antiretroviral-naive patients treated with TDF through 144 weeks. Additional studies on renal health and renal safety in HIV are important goals for future clinical trials.