(HealthDay News) – Maternal use of the anti-HIV drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) does not affect fetal growth but may lead to a delayed effect on infant growth in the first year, according to a study published online Feb. 29 in AIDS.

George K. Siberry, MD, MPH, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues assessed the effect of TDF on early growth parameters in 2,029 HIV-exposed, uninfected (HEU) infants at birth and at 1 year of age. Growth parameters included small for gestational age (SGA); low birth weight (LBW, <2.5kg); weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ); length-for-age z-scores (LAZ); and head circumference-for-age z-scores (HCAZ).

The researchers found that TDF usage increased from 14% in 2003 to 43% in 2010, and was used by 21% of the HIV-infected mothers. At birth there was no difference in SGA, LBW, and newborn LAZ and HCAZ for those exposed to combination regimens with or without TDF. At age 1 year, significantly lower adjusted mean LAZ (−0.17 vs. −0.03; P=0.04) and HCAZ (0.17 vs. 0.42; P=0.02) were seen for infants exposed to combination regimens containing TDF than those without TDF.

“The slightly lower mean LAZ and HCAZ observed at age 1 year in TDF-exposed infants are of uncertain significance but underscore the need for additional studies of growth outcomes after TDF use during pregnancy,” the authors write.

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