Are plasma levels valid surrogates for cellular concentrations of antiretroviral drugs in HIV-infected patients?

Colombo, S; Telenti, A; Buclin, T; Furrer, H; Lee, BL; Biollaz, J; Decosterd, LA; Swiss, HIV Cohort Study (2006). Are plasma levels valid surrogates for cellular concentrations of antiretroviral drugs in HIV-infected patients? Therapeutic drug monitoring, 28(3), pp. 332-8. Hagerstown, Md.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/01.ftd.0000211807.74192.62

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Total plasma concentrations are currently measured for therapeutic drug monitoring of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). However, the pharmacological target of antiretroviral drugs reside inside cells. To study the variability of their cellular accumulation, and to determine to which extent total plasma concentrations (TPC) correlate with cellular concentrations (CC), plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were simultaneously collected at single random times after drug intake from 133 HIV infected patients. TPC levels were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and CC by LC-MS/MS from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The best correlations between TPC and CC were observed for nelfinavir (NFV, slope=0.93, r=0.85), saquinavir (SQV, slope=0.76, r=0.80) and lopinavir (LPV, slope=0.87, r=0.63). By contrast, TPC of efavirenz (EFV) exhibited a moderate correlation with CC (slope=0.69, r=0.58), while no correlation was found for nevirapine (NVP, slope=-0.3, r=0.1). Interindividual variability in the CC/TPC ratio was lower for protease inhibitors (coefficients of variation 76%, 61%, and 80% for SQV, NFV and LPV, respectively) than for nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (coefficients of variation 101% and 318%, for EFV and NVP). As routine CC measurement raises practical difficulties, well-correlated plasma concentrations (ie, NFV, SQV and LPV) can probably be considered as appropriate surrogates for cellular drug exposure. For drugs such as EFV or NVP, there may be room for therapeutic drug monitoring improvement using either direct CC determination or other predictive factors such as genotyping of transporters or metabolizing enzyme genes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Furrer, Hansjakob






Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

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URI: (FactScience: 1039)

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