Objectives: We performed a retrospective cohort study of HIV-infected antiretroviral-naïve patients starting a first antiretroviral therapy with tenofovir/emtricitabine plus efavirenz (EFV), atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r), or lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r).
Methods: The incidence of renal impairment or proximal tubular dysfunction was evaluated during a 12-month follow-up. Renal impairment was diagnosed by a reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula, and tubular dysfunction was diagnosed when ≥ 2 among proteinuria, glucosuria, hypouricaemia, hypophosphataemia, and hypokalaemia, were identified.
Results: A total of 235 patients were enrolled: 82 taking EFV, 78 ATV/r, and 75 LPV/r. The mean decline in eGFR after the 12-month follow-up was significantly greater in subjects treated with ATV/r (-10.4 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) than in those receiving EFV (- 5.1; p = 0.002) or LPV/r (-4.8; p = 0.003). Similarly, a significantly higher incidence of proximal tubulopathy was observed among ATV/r-treated patients (14.1%) compared with patients receiving EFV (4.9%) or LPV/r (5.3%).
Conclusions: In our retrospective study, naïve patients receiving tenofovir/emtricitabine and ATV/r for 12 months showed a significantly higher decline in eGFR and a significantly higher incidence of proximal tubulopathy than those receiving tenofovir/emtricitabine plus EFV or LPV/r, even though clinically evident renal toxicity associated with tenofovir-based treatment is a very uncommon event.