Liver fibrosis stage and HCV genotype distribution in HIV-HCV coinfected patients with persistently normal transaminases

Ivana Maida, Vincent Soriano, Pablo Barreiro, Pablo Rivas, Pablo Labarga, Marina Núñez
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2007, 23 (6): 801-4
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients with normal transaminases may show significant liver damage. The proportion of subjects with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels within normal limits was examined in HIV-infected patients never exposed to interferon and with detectable plasma HCV-RNA on regular follow-up at one single institution. Liver fibrosis was evaluated using transient elastography (FibroScan). Out of 281 coinfected patients, 25 (8.9%) had persistently normal ALT levels. Patients with HCV genotypes 2 (1/5; 20%) and 4 (10/50; 20%), more often had significantly normal ALT than patients with HCV-1 (13/158; 8%) (p = 0.01) and HCV-3 (1/49; 2%) (p = 0.01). Liver fibrosis stages in these patients were as follows: F0-F1 in 13 (59.1%), F2 in 4 (18.2%), F3 in 2 (9.1%), and F4 in 3 (13.6%). Advanced liver fibrosis (F3-F4) tended to be more frequent in patients infected with HCV-4 than HCV-1 (33.3% versus 9.1%; p = 0.2). Of HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis C 8.9% show persistently normal ALT levels. Nearly 25% of HIV-HCV-coinfected patients with persistently normal ALT show advanced liver fibrosis. Therefore, HCV-HIV-coinfected patients with normal ALT levels should be closely monitored.

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