Changes in D-dimer after initiation of antiretroviral therapy in adults living with HIV in Kenya

Teasdale, Chloe A.; Hernandez, Cecilia; Zerbe, Allison; Chege, Duncan; Hawken, Mark; El-Sadr, Wafaa M.

Increased coagulation biomarkers are associated with poor outcomes among people living with HIV (PLHIV). There are few data available from African cohorts demonstrating the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on coagulation biomarkers.

From March 2014 to October 2014, ART-naïve PLHIV initiating non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based ART were recruited from seven clinics in western Kenya and followed for up to 12 months. Demographics, clinical history and blood specimens were collected. Logistic regression models adjusted for intrasite clustering examined associations between HIV viral load and D-Dimer at baseline. Mixed linear effects models were used to estimate mean change from baseline to 6 months overall, and by baseline viral load, sex and TB status at enrollment. Mean change in D-dimer at 6 months is reported on the log10 scale and as percentage change from baseline.

Among 611 PLHIV enrolled, 66% were female, median age was 34 years (interquartile range (IQR) 29–43 years), 31 (5%) participants had tuberculosis and median viral load was 113,500 copies/mL (IQR: 23,600-399,000). At baseline, 311 (50.9%) PLHIV had elevated D-dimer (> 500 ng/mL) and median D-dimer was 516.4 ng/mL (IQR: 302.7–926.6) (log baseline D-dimer: 2.7, IQR: 2.5–3.0). Higher baseline D-dimer was significantly associated with higher viral load (p < 0.0001), female sex (p = 0.02) and tuberculosis (p =  0.02). After 6 months on ART, 518 (84.8%) PLHIV had achieved viral load < 1000 copies/mL and median D-dimer was 390.0 (IQR: 236.6–656.9) (log D-dimer: 2.6, IQR: 2.4–2.8). Mean change in log D-dimer from baseline to 6 months was − 0.12 (95%CI −0.15, − 0.09) (p < 0.0001) indicating at 31.3% decline (95%CI −40.0, − 23.0) in D-dimer levels over the first 6 months on ART. D-dimer decline after ART initiation was significantly greater among PLHIV with tuberculosis at treatment initiation (− 172.1, 95%CI −259.0, − 106.3; p < 0.0001) and those with log viral load > 6.0 copies/mL (− 91.1, 95%CI −136.7, − 54.2; p < 0.01).

In this large Kenyan cohort of PLHIV, women, those with tuberculosis and higher viral load had elevated baseline D-dimer. ART initiation and viral load suppression among ART-naïve PLHIV in Kenya were associated with significant decrease in D-dimer at 6 months in this large African cohort.

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BMC Infectious Diseases

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Published Here
December 20, 2022


Coagulation, D-dimer, ART initiation, Tuberculosis, Women