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1.  Association of Human Leukocyte Antigen Alleles and Nevirapine Hypersensitivity in a Malawian HIV-Infected Population 
Human leukocyte antigen genotyping of 272 Malawian HIV patients receiving nevirapine-containing regimens (of whom 117 had nevirapine hypersensitivity) has shown that HLA-C*04:01 increases the risk of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, with an odds ratio of 5.17 (95% confidence interval, 2.39–11.18).
Background. The nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine is the cornerstone of treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in many sub-Saharan African countries. However, nevirapine is associated with a 6%–10% risk of developing a hypersensitivity reaction, with different phenotypes, including the blistering conditions Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Our aim was to identify predictive human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers that are associated with nevirapine hypersensitivity.
Methods. We identified 117 HIV-infected Malawian adults with nevirapine hypersensitivity (15 drug-induced liver injury [DILI], 33 SJS/TEN, 20 hypersensitivity syndrome, and 46 nevirapine-induced rash plus 3 with both DILI and SJS phenotype) and 155 age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched nevirapine-exposed controls. HLA typing for 5 loci (A, B, C, DRB1, and DQB1) was undertaken using a sequence-based high-resolution protocol. Logistic regression analysis included CD4+ cell count as a covariate.
Results. HLA-C*04:01 was found to markedly increase the risk for SJS (odds ratio [OR] = 17.52; 95% confidence interval, 3.31–92.80) and all hypersensitivity phenotypes (OR = 2.64; 95% CI, 1.13–6.18) when compared to the baseline rare allele group in a binary logistic regression model. The OR for absolute risk of SJS/TEN associated with carriage of HLA-C*04:01 was 5.17 (95% CI, 2.39–11.18). Positive predictive value was 2.6% and negative predictive value was 99.2%. In addition, a number of alleles within the HLA-DQB1 loci protected against nevirapine-induced hypersensitivity phenotypes.
Conclusions. Our study has identified HLA-C*04:01 carriage as a risk factor for nevirapine-induced SJS/TEN in a Malawian HIV cohort. Validation of these findings in a larger cohort of patients and mechanistic investigation of the pathogenesis are required.
PMCID: PMC3616517  PMID: 23362284
nevirapine; hypersensitivity; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; human leukocyte antigen; genetics
2.  Influence of CYP2C9 and VKORC1 on Patient Response to Warfarin: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e44064.
Warfarin is a highly effective anticoagulant however its effectiveness relies on maintaining INR in therapeutic range. Finding the correct dose is difficult due to large inter-individual variability. Two genes, CYP2C9 and VKORC1, have been associated with this variability, leading to genotype-guided dosing tables in warfarin labeling. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how genotypic information should be used in practice. Navigating the literature to determine how genotype will influence warfarin response in a particular patient is difficult, due to significant variation in patient ethnicity, outcomes investigated, study design, and methodological rigor. Our systematic review was conducted to enable fair and accurate interpretation of which variants affect which outcomes, in which patients, and to what extent.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A comprehensive search strategy was applied and 117 studies included. Primary outcomes were stable dose, time to stable dose and bleeding events. Methodological quality was assessed using criteria of Jorgensen and Williamson and data synthesized in meta-analyses using advanced methods. Pooled effect estimates were significant in most ethnic groups for CYP2C9*3 and stable dose (mutant types requiring between 1.1(0.7–1.5) and 2.3 (1.6–3.0)mg/day). Effect estimates were also significant for VKORC1 and stable dose for most ethnicities, although direction differed between asians and non-asians (mutant types requiring between 0.8(0.4–1.3) and 1.5(1.1–1.8)mg/day more in asians and between 1.5(0.7–2.2) and 3.1(2.7–3.6)mg/day less in non-asians). Several studies were excluded due to inadequate data reporting. Assessing study quality highlighted significant variability in methodological rigor. Notably, there was significant evidence of selective reporting, of outcomes and analysis approaches.
Genetic associations with warfarin response vary between ethnicities. In order to achieve unbiased estimates in different populations, a high level of methodological rigor must be maintained and studies should report sufficient data to enable inclusion in meta-analyses. We propose minimum reporting requirements, suggest methodological guidelines and provide recommendations for reducing the risk of selective reporting.
PMCID: PMC3430615  PMID: 22952875
3.  Genetic and environmental factors determining clinical outcomes and cost of warfarin therapy: a prospective study 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2009;19(10):800-812.
In this prospective cohort study, we have undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of clinical parameters along with variation in 29 genes (including CYP2C9 and VKORC1) to identify factors determining interindividual variability in warfarin response.
Consecutive patients (n = 311) were followed up prospectively for 26 weeks. Several outcomes chosen to capture both warfarin efficacy and toxicity were assessed. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were undertaken to assess the combined effect of clinical and genetic factors.
CYP2C9 was the most important gene determining initial anticoagulant control, whereas VKORC1 was more important for stable anticoagulation. Novel associations with some clinical outcomes were found with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the cytochrome 450 genes CYP2C18 and CYP2C19, which were independent of the associations observed with CYP2C9 and in genes encoding CYP3A5, protein S and clotting factor V, although the variability explained by these genes was small. On the basis of the results of microcosting, adverse events were shown to be a significant predictor of total cost.
Accurate prediction of warfarin dose requirement needs to take into account multiple genetic and environmental factors, the contributions of which vary in the induction and maintenance phases of treatment.
PMCID: PMC3330749  PMID: 19752777
dosing algorithms; haemorrhage; pharmacogenetics; variability; warfarin
4.  Pharmacogenetic Warfarin Dose Refinements Remain Significantly Influenced by Genetic Factors after One Week of Therapy 
Thrombosis and Haemostasis  2011;107(2):232-240.
By guiding initial warfarin dose, pharmacogenetic (PGx) algorithms may improve the safety of warfarin initiation. However, once INR response is known, the contribution of PGx to dose refinements is uncertain. This study sought to develop and validate clinical and PGx dosing algorithms for warfarin dose refinement on days 6–11 after therapy initiation.
Materials and Methods
An international sample of 2,022 patients at 13 medical centers on 3 continents provided clinical, INR, and genetic data at treatment days 6–11 to predict therapeutic warfarin dose. Independent derivation and retrospective validation samples were composed by randomly dividing the population (80%/20%). Prior warfarin doses were weighted by their expected effect on S-warfarin concentrations using an exponential-decay pharmacokinetic model. The INR divided by that “effective” dose constituted a treatment response index.
Treatment response index, age, amiodarone, body surface area, warfarin indication, and target INR were associated with dose in the derivation sample. A clinical algorithm based on these factors was remarkably accurate: in the retrospective validation cohort its R2 was 61.2% and median absolute error (MAE) was 5.0 mg/week. Accuracy and safety was confirmed in a prospective cohort (N=43). CYP2C9 variants and VKORC1-1639 G→A were significant dose predictors in both the derivation and validation samples. In the retrospective validation cohort, the PGx algorithm had: R2= 69.1% (P<0.05 vs. clinical algorithm), MAE= 4.7 mg/week.
A pharmacogenetic warfarin dose-refinement algorithm based on clinical, INR, and genetic factors can explain at least 69.1% of therapeutic warfarin dose variability after about one week of therapy.
PMCID: PMC3292349  PMID: 22186998
warfarin; VKORC1; CYP2C9; pharmacogenetic
6.  Individual patient data meta-analysis : Cervical stitch (cerclage) for preventing pregnancy loss in women 
Cervical cerclage is a surgical procedure involving suturing the cervix with a purse type stitch to keep it closed during pregnancy. This procedure has been used widely in the management of pregnancies considered at high risk of preterm delivery. Several observational studies into the efficacy of cervical cerclage have claimed high rates of successful pregnancy outcome in women with a poor obstetric history attributed to cervical incompetence. However, a recent aggregate data Cochrane review found no such conclusive evidence from seven included randomised studies. Current data suggests that cervical cerclage is likely to benefit women considered to be 'at very high risk' of a second trimester miscarriage due to a cervical factor, however identifying such women remains elusive and many women may be treated unnecessarily. Undertaking an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis of the studies will allow us to investigate whether treatment is more effective in particular subgroups. Such an analysis will also provide a more powerful analysis of the predictors of preterm delivery and pregnancy loss, including ultrasound measurement of cervical length, and will allow a more complete analysis of 'time to event' outcomes.
The analysis will include data from randomised trials comparing the intervention of elective cerclage versus no cerclage or bedrest to prevent miscarriage or pre-term labour. A specific list of data will be requested for each trial, including demographic and obstetric history data. The primary outcomes of interest will be neonatal mortality/morbidity. Attention will also be given to secondary outcomes such as time from randomisation to delivery, preterm delivery before 32 weeks and maternal morbidity. An intention to treat analysis will be performed, with attention paid to assessing clinical and statistical heterogeneity. Multilevel models with patients and trials as the two levels will be explored to investigate treatment effect on various outcomes. Patient-level covariates will be incorporated into the models in an attempt to account for statistical heterogeneity as well as to investigate interactions with treatment effect.
Predictive models generated from our analysis should lead to more effective counselling of women at risk and a more cost effective use of cerclage.
PMCID: PMC553972  PMID: 15727683

Results 1-6 (6)