Nevirapine-containing antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1 infected patients results in an anti-atherogenic lipid profile

M. Van der Valk*, J. J P Kastelein, R. L. Murphy, F. Van Leth, C. Katlama, A. Horban, M. Glesby, G. Behrens, B. Clotet, R. K. Stellato, H. O F Molhuizen, P. Reiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Background: Protease inhibitor-containing antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV-1 infection is associated with elevated triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels which may expose patients to an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). We report the lipid and lipoprotein profiles of a representative subset of treatment-naive patients included in the Atlantic Study. This study compares patients treated with stavudine and didanosine plus the random addition of either the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine (NVP), the protease inhibitor indinavir or the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor lamivudine. Methods: Lipids and lipoproteins were quantified from prospectively collected and cryopreserved plasma samples obtained at weeks 0, 6 and 24. Results: We observed a striking increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (49%), apolipoprotein Al (19%), lipoprotein Al (38%) and HDL particle size (3%) in the NVP-treated patients (n = 34) at week 24. Much less pronounced changes in these parameters were seen to a similar extent both in patients receiving lamivudine (n = 39) and indinavir (n = 41). LDL-cholesterol also increased significantly both in the NVP and indinavir arms, but only in the NVP arm was this offset by a significant reduction (14%) in total over HDL-cholesterol ratio. Using a multivariate linear regression model, adjusting for CD4 cell count and plasma HIV RNA both at baseline and during treatment, randomization to the NVP-containing arm remained significant in explaining the observed changes in HDL-cholesterol and other HDL-related parameters. Conclusions: In HIV-1 infected patients treated with a regimen of stavudine, didanosine and NVP we found changes in lipids and lipoproteins which are associated with a sharp decrease in risk for CAD in other settings. If confirmed in larger studies, these findings both may influence the initial choice of therapy for HIV-1 infection, and might lead to novel approaches targeted at raising HDL-cholesterol for CAD prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2407-2414
Number of pages8
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 7 2001


  • Coronary artery disease
  • HIV
  • High-density lipoprotein
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Nevirapine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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