Evaluating liver fibrosis progression and the impact of antiretroviral therapy in HIV and hepatitis C coinfection using a noninvasive marker

Huda Al-Mohri, Tanya Murphy, Ying Lu, Richard G Lalonde, Marina B Klein
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: JAIDS 2007 April 1, 44 (4): 463-9
The effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on progression of hepatic fibrosis in hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection with HIV are not well understood and are difficult to measure because of the need for repeated liver biopsy. We evaluated the evolution of a noninvasive measure of liver fibrosis, the alanine aspartyl transferase (AST)-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), longitudinally and determined its predictive value for hepatic outcomes in HIV-positive patients with and without HCV coinfection. A total of 673 HIV-positive patients without liver complications at baseline (540 with HIV only, 133 with HIV-HCV coinfection) were followed between 1991 and 2004 for a median of 4.6 years (3524 person-years). At baseline, HIV-HCV coinfection had a higher median APRI compared with HIV infection alone (0.59 vs. 0.33; P < 0.0001). The natural logarithm of the APRI [ln(APRI)] changed significantly over time, particularly among patients with HIV-HCV coinfection. The baseline ln(APRI) was predictive of liver complications (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.5 to 6.4 per log), as was HCV (HR = 4.5, 95% CI: 1.5 to 14). Cumulative HAART did not protect against liver complications, although it was significantly associated with progression of APRI scores in HIV-HCV coinfection and in HIV alone. In conclusion, the APRI may be a useful marker for longitudinal evaluation of the progression of liver disease in HIV-HCV coinfection.

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