To explore the heterogeneity of CD4 responses following highly active antiretroviral therapy, the patterns of CD4 recovery of HIV-1-infected Chinese patients who have been on their first antiretroviral regimen for ≥5 years were analysed. The CD4 trajectories were traced, smoothed and differentiated into three defined profiles. Half (56.3%) were 'satisfactory responders', with CD4 gain of >100 cells/μL and a peak of >350 cells/μL, plateauing before the end of Year 5. Thirty-three (24.4%) were 'continuing responders' whose CD4 rise persisted at Year 4-5. The remaining 26 (19.3%) were 'poor responders'. Presentation with AIDS before therapy was common not just among 'poor' but also paradoxically the 'continuing' responders. While a majority had responded well to antiretroviral therapy, older patients and those with AIDS diagnosis before initiation of therapy may never achieve a satisfactory level even with effective treatment. Categorization of HIV patients by their CD4 trajectory may support the prediction of immunological outcome over time, and ultimately inform treatment choices.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.