CD4:CD8 ratio and CD8 count as prognostic markers for mortality in HIV-positive patients on ART: Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration

Adam Trickey*, Margaret T. May, Philipp Schommers, Jan Tate, Suzanne M. Ingle, Jodie L. Guest, M. John Gill, Robert Zangerle, Mike Saag, Peter Reiss, Antonella D.Arminio Monforte, Margaret Johnson, Viviane D. Lima, Tim R. Sterling, Matthias Cavassini, Linda Wittkop, Dominique Costagliola, Jonathan A.C. Sterne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
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Background. We investigated whether CD4:CD8 ratio and CD8 count were prognostic for all-cause, AIDS, and non-AIDS mortality in virologically suppressed patients with high CD4 count. Methods. We used data from 13 European and North American cohorts of human immunodeficiency virus-infected, antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive adults who started ART during 1996-2010, who were followed from the date they had CD4 count ≥350 cells/μL and were virologically suppressed (baseline). We used stratified Cox models to estimate unadjusted and adjusted (for sex, people who inject drugs, ART initiation year, and baseline age, CD4 count, AIDS, duration of ART) all-cause and cause-specific mortality hazard ratios for tertiles of CD4:CD8 ratio (0-0.40, 0.41-0.64 [reference], >0.64) and CD8 count (0-760, 761-1138 [reference], >1138 cells/μL) and examined the shape of associations using cubic splines. Results. During 276 526 person-years, 1834 of 49 865 patients died (249 AIDS-related; 1076 non-AIDS-defining; 509 unknown/ unclassifiable deaths). There was little evidence that CD4:CD8 ratio was prognostic for all-cause mortality after adjustment for other factors: The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for lower vs middle tertile was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.25). The association of CD8 count with all-cause mortality was U-shaped: AHR for higher vs middle tertile was 1.13 (95% CI, 1.01-1.26). AIDSrelated mortality declined with increasing CD4:CD8 ratio and decreasing CD8 count. There was little evidence that CD4:CD8 ratio or CD8 count was prognostic for non-AIDS mortality. Conclusions. In this large cohort collaboration, the magnitude of adjusted associations of CD4:CD8 ratio or CD8 count with mortality was too small for them to be useful as independent prognostic markers in virally suppressed patients on ART.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbercix466
Pages (from-to)959-966
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Early online date11 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2017


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Cd4:cd8 ratio
  • Cd8 count
  • HIV
  • Mortality


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