Chromatographic Methods in Hiv Medicine: Application to Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

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HIV antiretroviral therapy spans several different drug classes, meant to combat various aspects of viral infection and replication. Many authors have argued the benefits of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for the HIV patient including compliance assurance and assessment of appropriate drug concentrations; however, the array of drug chemistries and combinations makes TDM an arduous task. HPLC-UV and LC-MS/MS are both frequent instruments for the quantification of HIV drugs in biological matrices with investigators striving to balance sensitivity and affordability. Plasma, the dominant matrix for these analyses, is prepared using protein precipitation, liquid-liquid extraction or solid-phase extraction depending on the specific complement of analytes. Despite the range of polarities found in drug classes relevant to HIV therapeutics, most chromatographic separations utilize a hydrophobic column (C18 ). Additionally, as the clinically relevant samples for these assays are infected with HIV, along with possible co-infections, another important aspect of sample preparation concerns viral inactivation. Although not routine in clinical practice, many published analytical methods from the previous two decades have demonstrated the ability to conduct TDM in HIV patients receiving various medicinal combinations. This review summarizes the analytical methods relevant to TDM of HIV drugs, while highlighting respective challenges.