Statins and Lab Results Changes

Question

Dear Dr. Holodniy,

I was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago with Stage C HIV infection (CD4 88, 6%). I started out with a very high VL (over 1.5 million) and it took me over 7 months to achieve undetectability. Ever since, my CD4 count and percentage has been slowly creeping up, but remained around 18-19%, with a CD4/CD8 ratio around 0,35-0,4 for the last year or so.

I started taking atorvastatin 6 months ago in order to lower my cholesterol and maybe, decrease chronic inflammation somehow. I just had my routine blood work drawn this week, with the following results: CD4 500, CD4 % 29% ( up from 19% , 6 months ago), Absolute CD8 690 (from 1600), CD4/CD8 ratio incresed to 0.7 (from 0,4, 6 months ago). Total leucocytes: 5.200

Do you think this improvemnte in my labs is a fluke? Do you think the statin I have been taking could have sometihng to do with this overall improvement? Is this a trend I might expect to continue in the future?

Thanks again for your tremendous help

Answer

It's possible it's related to the statin. Several studies have indicated that atorvastatin reduces inflammation and CD4 cell activation in those with HIV infection, and can increase some subsets of CD4 cells. However, direct consistent evidence of CD4 cell increase in everyone taking atorvastatin has not been documented.