Liver fibrosis on account of chronic hepatitis C is more severe in HIV-positive than HIV-negative patients despite antiretroviral therapy

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Abstract

SUMMARY

The recent availability of non-invasive tools to measure liver fibrosis has allowed examination of its extent and determination of predictors in all patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. On the other hand, most information on hepatic fibrosis in HCV/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients has been derived from liver biopsies taken before highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was widely available. All consecutive HCV patients with elevated aminotransferases seen during the last 3 years were evaluated and liver fibrosis measured using transient elastography (FibroScan®) and biochemical indexes. Patients were split according to their HIV serostatus. A total of 656 (69.6%) HCV-monoinfected and 287 (30.4%) HIV/HCV-coinfected patients were assessed. Mean CD4 count of coinfected patients was 493 cells/μL and 88% were under HAART (mean time, 4.2 ± 2.4 years). Advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis was recognized in 39% of the coinfected and 18% of the monoinfected patients (P < 0.005). A good correlation was found between FibroScan® and biochemical indexes [AST to platelet ratio index (r = 0.405, P < 0.0001), FIB-4 (r = 0.393, P < 0.0001) and Forns (r = 0.407, P < 0.0001)], regardless of the HIV status. In the multivariate analysis, age >45 years, body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2, and HIV infection were independently associated with advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis. HIV/HCV-coinfected patients have more advanced liver fibrosis than HCV-monoinfected patients despite the immunologic benefit of HAART.

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