Recovery of renal function after early versus late switching of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in people living with HIV with renal insufficiency

Int J STD AIDS. 2022 Mar;33(4):391-396. doi: 10.1177/09564624221076632. Epub 2022 Feb 10.


Background: Although many guidelines recommend switching tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) to other antiretroviral agents if there is a progressive decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) not explained by other causes, a definite cut-point of the eGFR for TDF switching is not known.

Methods: A cohort study was conducted among people living with HIV (PLHIV) who switched from TDF to other agents due to declined eGFR. Participants were categorized according to the eGFR at TDF switching: early-switch (eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) and late-switch (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) groups. Binary logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with complete recovery of renal function.

Results: Of 141 participants, mean age was 54.2 ± 12.2 years and 74.5% were male. Median duration of TDF use was 5.2 years. Mean eGFR at the time of TDF switching was 72.4 ± 13.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the early-switch group and 47.0 ± 14.8 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the late-switch group. Six months after TDF switching, mean eGFR significantly increased to 84.2 ± 13.5 (p = .001) and 58.5 ± 13.2 mL/min/1.73 m2 (p < .001) in early-switch and late-switch groups, respectively. At 12 months after TDF switching, 44.4% of participants in early-switch group and 2.3% of participants in late-switch group had eGFR recovery to ≥ 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 (p < .001). Multivariate analysis showed that only early switching (vs late switching) of TDF was associated with complete recovery of renal function at 12 months after TDF switching [OR, 7.542; 95% CI, 2.441-11.119; p = .028].

Conclusions: In PLHIV with TDF-associated renal insufficiency, eGFR significantly recovers after switching TDF to other agents. Early TDF switching has a higher chance of complete recovery of renal function.

Keywords: HIV; antiretroviral therapy; renal function; resource-limited setting; tenofovir.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency* / complications
  • Tenofovir / therapeutic use


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Tenofovir