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Low plasmatic concentration of intensified antiretroviral therapy in a pregnant woman: a case report

Chiesi S, Rizzardo S, Piacentini D, Be G, Lattuada E, Tacconelli E, Lanzafame M

Background: Identifying the most appropriate antiretroviral regimen for pregnant women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) infection can be challenging, mainly due to pregnancy-related physiological alterations which can significantly reduce maternal drug plasma concentration. We would like to report our experience as it consists of an unusual case of low plasmatic concentration of antiretroviral drugs despite regimen intensification in a HIV-positive pregnant woman. It also underlines the need for accurate monitoring and treatment adjustment in pregnant women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Case presentation: A 26-year-old Brazilian woman with HIV-1 infection attending our out-patient clinic presented with low plasmatic concentration of antiretroviral drugs and persistent detectable viral load despite regimen intensification during pregnancy. Trough plasma concentrations of dolutegravir and darunavir were measured by validated liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. At 23 weeks of gestation it showed a lower value than expected in non-pregnant adults, compared to a normal level of plasma concentration measured at 10 weeks after delivery. Our patient and the baby had no regimen-related adverse effects.

Conclusions: Physiological changes during pregnancy can affect pharmacokinetics and reduce a mother's bioavailability of antiretroviral drugs, potentially altering their pharmacological activity. A personalized treatment and a careful follow-up are hence mandatory for this key population.

Keywords: Ctrough; Darunavir; Dolutegravir; HIV-1; Pharmacokinetics; Pregnancy.

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